Friday, November 29, 2002

Here it is, the day after Thanksgiving, and here I am at Kathy's mom's house, listening to her brother Patrick cheering on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the other room.

We got here in Blowing Rock Tuesday night, and Patrick and his brood arrived Wednesday. The dinner was good; I carved the turkey AND said the blessing over the dinner before we dug in. Of course I called my family in Georgia; they're all doing well. After dinner I had a nice long turkey nap and watched The Wizard of Oz later that evening.

Thankfully I didn't get up (or get awakened) for early bird shopping this morning; everybody basically sacked out. Kathy and I did end up going into Boone to look around a little this afternoon. We still have to buy presents for my brothers and Kath's stepmom, but we should have it all wrapped up by next weekend.

One somber note; as we were headed back from Boone, Kathy got a call from her mom. A friend and co-worker of Kathy from her old IR job in Boone passed away yesterday. She was only 41 and left behind a 10-year old son.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

For all of you in Blogger land, a belated Thanksgiving treat...

Alice's Restaurant
By Arlo Guthrie

This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the
restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
that's just the name of the song, and that's why I called the song Alice's

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
restaurant, but Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in the
church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin' all that room,
seein' as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn't
have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it'd be
a friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
we took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
on toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
dump saying, "Closed on Thanksgiving." And we had never heard of a dump
closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn't find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
decided to throw our's down.

That's what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
dinner that couldn't be beat, went to sleep and didn't get up until the
next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, "Kid,
we found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it." And
I said, "Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
under that garbage."

After speaking to Obie for about fourty-five minutes on the telephone we
finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
and pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
police officer's station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the
shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
police officer's station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
the police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn't very likely, and
we didn't expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
and told us never to be see driving garbage around the vicinity again,
which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer's station
there was a third possibility that we hadn't even counted upon, and we was
both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said "Obie, I don't think I
can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on." He said, "Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car."

And that's what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, they got three stop
signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer's station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
they took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
one was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
the getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that's not to
mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
us in the cell. Said, "Kid, I'm going to put you in the cell, I want your
wallet and your belt." And I said, "Obie, I can understand you wanting my
wallet so I don't have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
want my belt for?" And he said, "Kid, we don't want any hangings." I
said, "Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?"
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
toilet seat so I couldn't hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
out the toilet paper so I couldn't bend the bars roll out the - roll the
toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It's a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
to the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat,
and didn't get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
of each one, sat down. Man came in said, "All rise." We all stood up,
and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
'cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
blind justice, and there wasn't nothing he could do about it, and the
judge wasn't going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
we was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but thats not
what I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it's called Whitehall Street,
where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. `Cause I wanted to
look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
to feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
kinds o' mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
me a piece of paper, said, "Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604."

And I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
KILL, KILL." And I started jumpin up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL," and
he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
yelling, "KILL, KILL." And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy."

Didn't feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin' to me
at the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
and I walked up and said, "What do you want?" He said, "Kid, we only got
one question. Have you ever been arrested?"

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice's Restaurant Massacre,
with full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
the phenome... - and he stopped me right there and said, "Kid, did you ever
go to court?"

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
the back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, "Kid, I want
you to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W .... NOW kid!!"

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W's
where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean 'n' ugly
'n' nasty 'n' horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
and said, "Kid, whad'ya get?" I said, "I didn't get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage." He said, "What were you arrested for, kid?"
And I said, "Littering." And they all moved away from me on the bench
there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
said, "And creating a nuisance." And they all came back, shook my hand,
and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
up and said.

"Kids, this-piece-of-paper's-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
officer's-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say", and talked for
forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
and I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
the other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
following words:


I went over to the sargent, said, "Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I'm
sittin' here on the bench, I mean I'm sittin here on the Group W bench
'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough join the army, burn women,
kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug." He looked at me and
said, "Kid, we don't like your kind, and we're gonna send you fingerprints
off to Washington."

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I'm
singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's walk into
the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say "Shrink, You can get
anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.". And walk out. You know, if
one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and
they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

And that's what it is , the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around on the

With feeling. So we'll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I've been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it
for another twenty five minutes. I'm not proud... or tired.

So we'll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
harmony and feeling.

We're just waitin' for it to come around is what we're doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice's Restaurant

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

100 (or so) things about me (#1-10, FINALLY!)

1) So, where am I a native of? Well, I was born in Louisville, GA, but the place I spent the most time in my life (so far) was Aiken, SC. All told, I have lived 25 years of my life in either North or South Carolina.

2) I started my collegiate education at the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 1987. I graduated in 1999. A lot of the time I was attending I was part-time, and I sat out for a few years here and there. If I measured in purely class time, I was at USCA for 7 years. Not exactly something to crow about, but still... I'm a graduate.

3) I'm basically a shy person, so when I first meet someone I'm a bit reserved. Once I get to know people, however, I warm up pretty well.

4) Of course, I consider theatre to be my life. My steadfast involvement didn't really take off until my sophomore year in college; my first play, though was in 1975, at the Beech Mountain (NC) Baptist Church Christmas pageant. My one line was "Christmas comes but once a year, so let's eat and play and have good cheer."

5) My first "secular" role in a play came in my senior year at Evans (GA) High School. I played Professor Kokintz in The Mouse that Roared. Once I had gray paint sprayed into my hair, I knew that I would be forever typecast.

6) My first college role was as the title character in Mr. Scrooge's Christmas. Seems that through most of my college days I was playing either the Grumpy Old Man or the Bumbling Idiot.

7) I have shaken a few famous hands in my life. I met Jon Bon Jovi and Sebastian Bach (somewhere I have a photo with the former), said "what's up" to Speech from Arrested Development, shaken hands with (and swiped the chalk of) Kurt Vonnegut, and talked nuclear disarmament with former UN Secretary-General (and recovering Nazi) Kurt Waldheim. Not that I'm proud of that last thing; I met him in '83 when I was in the Model UN, a few years before the Nazi stuff came out.

8) I am a total mark for Mystery Science Theatre 3000. When I forst saw the show, I convinced my friend Christa Cox to tape it for me; she lived in North Augusta, and we didn't get Comedy Central in Aiken. I have about 40 episodes on tape. This may not push me into total geekdom, but I can see it from here.

9) I have been as far west as Woodward OK, as far south as Miami (actually a little south of), and as far north and east as NYC.

10) My favorite colors are black and blue. Anything else?

Next time: The Thanksgiving report. Turkey for me and-a turkey for you...

100 (or so) things about me (#11-20)

11) My first car was a 1976 Chevrolet Chevette. It was red with wood paneling, and it was probably the dorkiest vehicle I've ever driven.

12) This may be shocking to some people here, but I have a genius-level IQ. I was tested when I was 12, and I even had an opportunity to go to the University of North Carolina at that age, but I decided I wanted to be "normal".

13) Of all the pets I've ever had, I was most attached to my first cat, Kitty. She was a mostly black calico my sister found when we lived in Tazewell, VA in 1982. After Tonya went off and got married, Kitty became my cat, and she lived with me when I got the garage apartment in Aiken. Unfortunately she died in the fire that consumed that apartment in 1990. I still miss her.

14) I was a virgin until I was 32 years old. That's all I got to say about that.

15) The first open-mouth kiss I ever gave was in 1990, for a grade. I was rehearsing a scene for acting class with a girl named Tami Conner, and the scene called for the two characters to kiss. Before I go any further, let me say that SHE picked out the scene. Anyway, we decided to practice the kiss. I remember her having to scold me for laughing every time we started to kiss, but I couldn't help it; my lips were ticklish. Anyway, I think we ended up with a B for the scene.

16) The first Broadway-quality musical I ever saw was Les Miserables, in Atlanta in 1990. The first actual Broadway show I saw was the revival of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2000. Les Miz remains one of my favorite musicals ever.

17) My all-time favorite band ever is Pearl Jam. I've seen them in concert 3 times, and I plan on getting a fourth or fifth viewing in before it's all over with.

18) My favorite pets ever, aside from the aforementioned Kitty, are Brutus (half-Collie, half-German Shepherd), K.C. (a cocker spaniel), and my fearsome foursome Kathy and I have now (Heather the Westie; Katie, Possum and Lovecat the cats)

19) My favorite movies vary depending on my mood, but I have to say that The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring is one of my favorites ever.

20) I actually worked as an extra on the movies Wild Hearts Can't be Broken and the remake of That Darn Cat. You can see me in the latter, if you know where to look.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

100 (or so) things about me (#21-30)

21) My first job was working at a Burger King in Daytona Beach, about a block from the beach itself. You know how hard it was to sling Whoppers while looking at girl after girl walking in wearing little more than a bikini and a smile, day in and day out? The things I do for you people!

22) To me the eyes are the window to the soul, and are usually the first thing I notice about someone.

23) I was once a caller on Larry King's radio show, when he had one. I got on and babbled something about my addiction to chocolate milk. Hey, it was 2am, and I was delirious, okay?

24) I used to be an avid poet, although I haven't written anything substantial in a couple of years.

25) When I was 18, I almost joined the Army, for nothing more than sheer boredom. Luckily, my dad talked me out of it.

26) I've been a wrestling fan since I was a kid. My first memory was seeing a guy named The Mighty Igor have a cinder block broken on his head with a sledgehammer and get up smiling.

27) I was once convinced by a friend of mine to dress as a Klingon for the premiere of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. I have no pictures of this, so don't ask!

28) One of my cyber-nicknames, Aeolian, comes indirectly from the Greek god of the winds. Directly, it comes from an event called Aeolian Visitations, a poetryslam/performance showcase that used to be held at a bar called Newberry's. Newberry's is now a bicycle shop.

29) In junior and senior high school, I had a couple of other nicknames. One guy used to call me "Buzzard" (probably for my prominent nose), and in another place I got the nickname "Gomer" (why, I don't know). Both names did wonders for my self-esteem *rolls eyes*

30) I was raised as a Southern Baptist, and baptized when I was 10 years old. Currently, however, I am attending and singing in a Presbyterian church with my Unitarian girlfriend. Go figure.
100 (or so) things about me (#31-40)

31) One of my favorite jobs ever was working as an assistant manager at Chris' Camera Center South in Aiken SC.

32) My least favorite job was being a telemarketer in Augusta GA back in 1986. I went a whole half-hour before I decided that it just wasn't for me.

33) I really like going to the beach, but I have a problem with sunburning when I go. As I heard one comedian put it "it's like putting tinfoil in a microwave".

34) Surprise, surprise, when I was younger, I liked to read comic books. I was particularly taken with Green Lantern. That is one conic book character I would like to see turned into a movie.

35) I once had an unsavory fascination with Catherine Bach. It was her legs; they haunted me! (insert spooky music here)

36) I am a creature of bad habits, as Kathy can attest. I bite my fingernails, and burp, scratch and fart almost at will. However, I have almost got the "leaving the seat down" habit licked. *crosses fingers*

37) I think I have a healthy blend of optimism and pessimism in my life. As someone once said "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst".

38) The one foreign country I would like to go to more than any other is Ireland. I feel drawn to it, and I want to go there and research my family's ancestry.

39) Autumn is my favorite season of the year. The colors of the leaves, the nip in the air, football, Halloween, Thanksgiving; autumn is just the greatest, IMHO.

40) When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut so badly I could taste it. Of course, my parents told me in order to be one I'd have to fly, and my enthusiasm waned.

Monday, November 25, 2002

100 (or so) things about me (#41-50)

I'll be speeding this up a bit as I'm going to NC for Thanksgiving tomorrow (Tuesday).

41) I would definitely say that my politics range left-of-center, liberal, progressive, what have you. Some people I've known in the past seem surprised by my political leanings, probably because of my generally quiet nature.

42) As big a Star Wars nut as I am, I didn't see the original movie until 1982. I actually saw The Empire Strikes Back before Star Wars (A New Hope). I still think Empire was the best of the series (at least until Episode III comes out).

43) I love women's soccer, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

44) I've had to wear a cast twice in my life. Once was in 1994, when I punched a steel wall in a fit of anger; the second time, in 1995, I fell on my wrist badly during rehearsal in my first season of outdoor theatre. Of course, it was the same arm and the same wrist both times.

45) In traveling between the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia/South Carolina over the course of three decades, I developed an interest in the "lost towns" as I call them. Those are the towns that I always signs for, but never got a chance to visit, that were off our usual route. Towns like Forest City and Spindale in North Carolina, or Enoree in South Carolina. I used to imagine what kind of towns they were, when I was a kid. Maybe one day I'll visit them and see how accurate my picture of them was.

46) Back in 1981-82, my family as a collective became whizzes at Circus Atari. Well, everybody except my mom, who has NO technological gifts. Stick figure clowns "popping" digital squares posing as balloons; what could be better?

47) The first computer I ever used was a Radio Shack TRS-80, which I think had 16k of memory. Today, I have a watch that has more memory.

48) My favorite foods are (cuisine) Italian, Thai, Mexican, or good old fashioned home cookin'. I also love Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, and any kind of pasta with pesto sauce.

49) My favorite non-alcoholic drink is sweet tea (the house wine of the south). My favorite beer is Guinness (on tap, natch). My favorite mixed drink is Jack and Coke. I can no longer look at Southern Comfort without getting ill (ask Kathy why).

50) If I had to take one team in each of the four "major" American sports to support they'd be the Braves, Steelers, 76ers, and Edmonton Oilers.

100 (or so) things about me (#51-60)

51) You can cuss in front of me, talk in graphic detail about your previous night's sexcapades, or even tell me how great you thing Dubya is, I don't mind; but if you want to get on my bad side REAL quick, the best way is to start talking about others in a racist tone.

52) I love, love, LOVE flannel shirts. Even before grunge was cool, I was a flannel freak.

53) I have seen my home on fire three times in my life. I lost everything I had in two of them.

54) I have a tattoo on my right ankle, one that I designed myself. I got it in January '97, as a christmas present from Crink and her then-fiancee Kyle. It has become more precious to me over the passing years, and I've thought about getting a second one; I'm just not sure if I'm ready for it yet.

55) Despite my tattoo (which incidentally is on one of the 5 most painful places to get a tat) I have no piercings on my body. I briefly entertained getting my left ear pierced, but decided against it. A friend of mine once tried to convince me to get my tongue pierced, but I could never do that. Never.

56) When I'm involved in a theatrical show, one of my traditions is that I bring a Bill the Cat doll with me. I picked up Bill several years ago at a flea market in Augusta GA, and he's been with me ever since.

57) I wish I could have spoken to each of my grandparents before they died, to say goodbye and that I loved them.

58) When I was in college, I was involved for several years with the Diabetes Association's annual benefit musical (they're now the Kidney Benefit). During that time, I was always cast as the villain who meets a dastardly end. Therefore, I quickly became known around Aiken as "the man who dies".

59) I am a BIG fan of roller coasters. One of my personal future meccas is King's Island park in Ohio, which is home to some 50+ roller coasters, including the tallest in the world.

60) Those that know me know that I love me some Saturday Night Live. I started watching it in the late 70s, at the tail end of the original Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time players, and have watched it almost continuously since. Sad, I know, but...

Hey you. Yeah, YOU! Check out my fiancee's blog!

Sunday, November 24, 2002

100 (or so) things about me (#61-70)

61) I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but these days I got my news more from The Daily Show than from the networks, CNN, Fox News or any of the other cable news outlets.

62) I was sitting with my grandmother at her home in NC the night John Lennon was assassinated. When the Challenger exploded, I was home, in North Augusta, SC, recovering from being fired from a 12-hour a day job. I was getting Crink some lunch in Aiken, SC when I heard about Kurt Cobain killing himself, and I was just waking up at my residence in the mountains of NC on 9/11/01.

63) My dad had polio when he was 9 years old, and it crippled his left arm, but I never considered him to be handicapped. He could do more things with one good arm than many people could do with two.

64) I am the great-great-great-great-great great grandnephew of Daniel Boone. I could go into the lineage, but I'd have to sit and think about it, and I'm not in the mood to do that right now. Ask me about it when you see me sometime. :)

65) My parents' house in Georgia was used as a temporary quarters by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman during his March to the Sea in 1864.

66) Among my parents' effects is a letter they found during the renovation of the above mentioned house. It's a letter to then Senator Alexander Stephens urging Georgia not to secede from the Union. The letter is signed by Abraham Lincoln.

67) Most people that know me know that I am a huge wrestling fan. And I have to say that the man who is probably my all-time favorite wrestler is Mick Foley, aka Cactus Jack, aka Mankind, aka Dude Love.

68) I am a serious amateur/budding professional photographer. I've always enjoyed being behind the camera, but never truly got into it until I took a course on photography in college. Since then I have amassed several cameras (both for show and for use), and I have a darkroom set up in our home.

69) I am a master of trivia. Back in college, I and severeal of my friends would go out every week to play trivia at local restaurants and bars. I have to say that thanks to winning several of those contests, I was able to keep myself well fed through the last two years of my collegiate career.

70) One of my favorite foods in the world is pizza, but I didn't eat that much of it until I was 16. I think it had a little to do with the fact that until that time, I was living in a hollow in the mountains of North Carolina, not exactly the easiest place in the world to deliver a pizza.

Friday, November 22, 2002

100 (or so) things about me (#71-80)

71) Before I moved in with Kathy, I had somewhere in the vicinity of 300 CDs in my collection. Now, the two of us have somewhere in the vicinity of 650 CDs.

72) I'm not especially proud to admit this, but I went to a Motley Crue concert back in 1990. A friend gave me a spare ticket to see it. The only "good" thing about it was finding out afterwards that Tommy Lee was arrested for mooning the audience.

73) It's been 8 years since I weighed under 200 lbs. As I write this, I am at 230, the most I've ever weighed. However, Kathy and I are exercising to take some of that tonnage off.

74) I am a sucker for radio dramas.

75) My fiancee Kathy is the first actual bonafide girlfriend I have ever had. Granted, I have loved several women before, but only in an unrequited sense.

76) I cannot stand touching wet wood. Don't ask me why, it just weirds me out.

77) I have never seen a worse movie than Battlefield Earth. The sad part about this is that I went and saw this piece of trip on opening weekend. In the evening. Paid full price. Sat through ALL of it! And, yes, I knew EXACTLY what I was doing!

78) My friend Crystal and I have a game we play where we tell one another that the other was great in a really bad movie. e.g. "You were awesome in Xanadu!" "Yeah? Well, you totally ROCKED in Freddy Got Fingered!" And on it goes.

79) When I lived in Aiken, one of my favorite hangouts was Waffle House at 2 in the morning. I've had some pretty interesting conversations (and some pretty lousy coffee) at WH that time of the night.

80) One of the molding influences on my sense of humor was Creem magazine. It was a rock magazine that would print snarky captions under pics of different bands. Most of the time I would buy the magazine just for the captions, but I also learned a great deal about alternative rock in the '80s by reading Creem.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

100 (or so) things about me (#81-90)*
*ed's note: I am counting backwards 10 at a time, so they make sense in the archives.

81) I love crosswords. They're probably my favorite word game.

82) I've never really believed in ghosts. However, once when I was sleeping over at my grandmother's house, I thought I saw a figure in boots walking by my bedroom door.

83) I will admit that I am a more openly emotional man than others. I tend to cry more often than other men, anyway.

84) Up until the age of 7, The Wizard of Oz scared the bejeebers out of me. This was back when the movie was shown once a year on CBS. I remember burying my head in my mom's lap when the Wicked Witch of the West came onscreen.

85) I love rainy days. Of course, it has to be a "good" rain. No thunderstorms, no drizzle, just a steady regreshing rain.

86) For some reason, the past few years, I have known and been associated with a plethora of Chrises (or variations thereof). There was Booth, Creely, Dyer, Boykin, my boss at the camera shop, and on and on and on...

87) I love going to the movies, but I hate going alone.

88) My favorite character in the Star Wars movies is Boba Fett. Somewhere in my plethora of "useless junk" is a Boba Fett toy that Crink gave me long, long ago.

89) I've never flown in an airplane. It's not that I'm afraid of flying, it's just the crashing, burning and mass destruction that gives me the willies.

90) I have a scar on the ring finger knuckle of my left hand. I got it when I was about 2 years old, and I cut myself with a knife (accidently of course).

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Checking this out to make sure that the changes I made work.
And now, in the proud tradition of other bloggers who have gone before:

100 (or so) things about me (#91-101)

91) I am the eldest of 4 children. My mother had a stillbirth two years before I was born. My siblings range in age from 33 (almost 34) to 25.

92) My musical tastes range a good bit. I've always gravitated to rock, but I was perhaps the first kid in the mountains of NC to discover hip-hop. Many times when I hear a new artist with a new sound, I will assume they're British, regardless of where they actually come from. I don't know why.

93) I am a big fan of modern art. You can thank Dr. John Elliott, my Art History teacher at USCA for that.

94) I've never been fond of bullies, regardless of where they are. Maybe it's due to the fact that I was picked on a good bit when I was a kid.

95) When my family would travel between North Carolina and Georgia on trips back in the late 70s and early 80s, there was one point in the road where we would hear "Take the Long Way Home" by Supertramp on the radio. It was in the town of Clinton SC, where state highway 52 meets Interstate 26 West. Every time I reach that spot now, I think of that song.

96) It's hard to believe looking at me, but when I was a child, I was a very skinny kid. I didn't hit 150 until I graduated high school. How much do I weigh now? None of yer business, but I'm working on it!!!

97) In 1993, I had the idea of recording some of my poetry and giving tapes of it to my friends and family for Christmas. My friends John and Cliff helped me out, and we made a tape called "Tales Told by and Idiot". A couple of years later, we did these readings live a couple of times as an impromptu group called "Pentamination".

98) I can still remember my first nightmare. When I was about two I had a dream that a stuffed alligator that I had was eating me. I woke up screaming for my mama, naturally.

99) I have also had an out of body experience (OOBE). When I was a young child, I can remember suddenly waking up form my sleep to see that I was floating above myself. I remember my mother walking in and shaking me, and sudddenly going back into my own body. I was about 3 then.

100) When I was in the third grade, my classmates and I formed the world championship kickball team. We massacred any and all comers back in 1974, winning one game 114-7 (you could look it up).

It's a pretty heady time right now. I am applying for the MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kathy and I had a long discussion this weekend at her mom's house, and we came to the conclusion that if we are going to survive as a happy couple, we both need to be active professionally.

If I get in at VCU, I will start next fall and will probably live in Richmond during the school week, and come home on weekends. I am also thinking of applying to a few other schools, just in case. I've wanted to go for my MFA, but I've always been a bit apprehensive. However, I'm going to do this. I need to. I want to. And I WILL DO! :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

I'm feeling better than I did last week, politically speaking. I won't go into it any more than that.

Not a bad weekend, to say the least. Kath and I went Friday night to the local art house theatre to see Monsoon Wedding. Pretty good flick, and it didn't involve Steven Seagal in any way. (note to Crink: I hear you're gonna be AWESOME in that film. Kudos!)

Anyway, Saturday we spent in Roanoke. We went to one of the malls there and I tried on a tux. I'm gonna need one soon, and not just for the wedding. We are in a choral concert next month and in March, and we have a couple of fancy-dress events coming up at W&L and I'll need a tuxedo for all of it. One thing I will say; trying on tuxes made me think about my need to lose weight and exercise. I felt a little embarrased when the sales lady almost has me try on a 2XL vest.

Later, we went to Barnes & Noble to look around. I picked up "Live from New York", which a totally fascinating read. I recommend it to all of you out there in TV land. While there, Kathy ran into a schoolmate of hers from ASU. Not exactly like meeting someone from your hometown in Germany or anything, but...

Yesterday was an intriguing day, to say the least. Good Morning America was here in Lexington, as part of their "50 cities in 50 states" dealie-yo. I had to go the long way to drive Kathy to work yesterday morning (her car's in the shop). The town held a veteran's Day parade at 7 IN THE MORNING for these people. My God, I feel like I've been dropped into a Capra film here. lol In any case, they were gone by mid-afternoon 9apparently they were dragged to a dedication for a bridge that's been in use for at least the past six months.

A bit of good news to end it, because some people need good news once in a while. :) I got a letter from the Employment Security Commission last week. Seems that they decided that although I was dismissed from my last job, it was not due to any wrongdoing on my part. I can hold my head up on that note, and on that note, I shall bid you Adieu until next time.

Thursday, November 7, 2002

As I was driving around yesterday, listening to NPR ('cause I couldn't bear to listen to the gloating Pigboy), I heard "A Lincoln Portrait" by Aaron Copland, with recitation by James Earl Jones. Something about it just inspired me, and I can't put my finger on it. It made me think that just maybe we're gonna make it through the next two years.
In any case, here is the text from the piece. It's not quite the same without the music and James Earl Jones booming these words, but just imagine.


"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history."

That is what he said. That is what Abraham Lincoln said.

"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We (even we here)hold the power and bear the responsibility."

He was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and lived in Illinois. And this is what he said: This is what Abe Lincoln said:

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country."

When standing erect he was six feet four inches tall. And this is what he said: He said:

"It is the eternal struggle between two principles 'right and wrong' throughout the world. It is the same spirit that says: 'You toil and work and earn bread; and I'll eat it'....No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle."

Lincoln was a quiet man. Abe Lincoln was a quiet and a melancholy man. But when he spoke of democracy, this is what he said: He said:

"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master; this expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."

Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of these United States, is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen, for on the battleground at Gettysburg, this is what he said: He said:

"...that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion: that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; and that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


You gotta stand for something, or you're gonna fall for anything!