Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Random things

1. My dream job would be voice over work for animation. Books on tape reader is acceptable.

2. I like French Champagne Want to bribe me. Bollinger is my house.

3. I am in the movie When Harry Met Sally. I'm in the crowd during the scene in which Billy Crystal and Bruno Kirky are doing the wave.

4. I shook Kurt Vonnegut's hand after a reading in Delaware, Ohio. I thanked him for changing my life. He said you're welcome.

5. I wanted to name my son after Vonnegut, but the alliteration was terrible.

6. I did not get a driver's license until I was 37.

7. When I was in Scotland, I are Haggis. It tastes like a White Castle.

8. I have a collection of three, plaster, RCA Nipper dogs.

9. It would be cool if I can get a chapbook done this year.

10. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder. It's usually under control unless I'm under more stress than usual. I'm a checker, not a cleaner.

11. I finally stopped getting a daily newspaper delivered two years ago after years of getting one.

12. I like the water but I do not like being in it because I cannot see without my glasses. Somewhere in the Atlantic is a pair of my glasses.

13. Deep in a vault, highly booby trapped, is a tape of me singing rock and roll. I'm not sure if anyone else in the band has a tape of that. Hope not.

14. There has not been a moment in my life that I cannot remember being unable to read.

15. I skipped second grade in elementary school Big mistake.

16. The best Christmas gift ever was the painting Emma had Stephanie create. A Dewey Decimal System biography.

17. My favorite scene in any film is when George stumbles into the ad agency in A Hard Days Night. His sarcasm and comedic chops are wonderful.

18. I never went to Yankee Stadium.

19. My favorite wines are rieslings from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. My preferred vineyard is the Sonnenhur in Wehlen.

20. I really, really dislike waiting in line to pay to get into a bar.

21. There is only one good beer in the world. Pilsner Urquell. Everything else you drink when it's not available.

22. I regret not going to a Peter Gabriel show at the Palladium in 1982, and not seeing Queen.

23. If I could have a sensible car I'd like an Audi A6.

24. I'd like to have seven pairs of Converse. Yes, one for each day of the week.

25. I think the next big trip is to San Francisco.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you want to. Go for it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

140 Characters in Search of Meaning

No, I do not get twitter. How much of someone's life are we supposed to know? Is it really necessary to get updates on what someone is having for lunch? I do not care if someone chooses Chipotle over Wendy's.

Yes, I've been known to put some real minutia in my live journal, but I'm working on that. Yet, I do not repost said minutia in a daily digest of twitter tweets either.

I do know my loathing of twitter says more about me than twitter.

Internet usage takes up enough of my time already, and Facebook status updates (mine included) can be boring and tedious enough to get through. They can be entertaining at times though. Do I really need to add another social networking tool to my life?

Heck, I do not even text. I do not even have a cell phone. I like my privacy, and how I choose to reveal my life is my decision and mine alone. It's almost as some of these twitterers are crying out 'stalk me stalk me!'

Do I need to know what so called movers and shakers are doing every minute of their day? I have enough troubles with my own life to be concerned about them. I have too much time keeping up on blogs, let alone having a life.

Know what else annoys me? It's when someone says 'I have a blog' and does not update it. Great you have a clever blog title, you think you're smart and cutting edge but you do not update. What's the point?

I'm not saying to be on top of it every day. But a weekly update helps. Twice a month even?

I'm back in the world of blogspot to regain some focus. Even now I'm not sure what I'm going to write about. I do not want to recap Everton, OSU Hockey the Mets or Blue Jackets. I certainly am not going to use this space to write about work. Not sure how much information I want to put about my son here.

Nor do I want to post my poetry, you have to come out to Kafe Kerouac and hear that. Do I need a theme? Probably. So it's going to take some time for me to regain some footing. The fun comes first. If it's not fun, it's not worth doing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This is sure stirring up ghosts for me

One thing I do not want this place to be is a crying room. I do not want to vent, lament, recap sports events from the night before, throw pillows around the room or whine about my dying 21 year old Volvo.

I am slightly better prepared to ponder about why someone who barely knew me in high school, who was in a more social class of friends, and who I think did not like me, would send me a message on It's a part of the game though. You put your name out there and people do show up. It happens on Facebook too, but there's an ignore feature there. I use it.

So what do I say to this guy, twenty eight years after we never really spoke to each other? Wow, I remember the time in English class you pushed me around a bit too much so I hit you in your budding rock star face and you went berserk. "Don't hit me in the face." Is my fondest memory of you. Ok, maybe not fondest but my only.

Maybe I should think on this a little more.

Last night my gal and I went out for a fine dinner which rekindled my love of Madeira.

Every couple of years I try it and vow to drink more. Every couple of years I fail to do this. It's the oldest wine I've had. At a shop I worked at, we had a tasting for a group of people from Arthur Anderson (before their book cooking) and one of the big wigs was looking around and found our 1870 Sercial. Later in the evening he bought it and wanted it opened so everyone in his group could try it. What I remember most was right after it was uncorked being about twenty feet away and being able to smell it. A genie was opened and it was beautiful. Apricots, heat, smoke. Lots of fruit. I did get to try a sip, and that was plenty. The juice never ages. Madeira is Peter Pan in a bottle.

I do not miss the wine business much. I had enough of crazy owners who died of crack overdoses or who tried to shoot themselves in their bathtubs. You get burned out on that type of dysfunction. My taste for the drink back then took its toll on me also. Best to stay away from things that can damage you if you can't control them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Drink me

A few months back, my gal and I went to Trader Joe's north of Cincinnati, a foodie's paradise, to check it out. It's a massive place, filled with food and drink from all over the world. I was especially interested in the beverages. Like Letterman, I enjoy a good beverage. We stocked up on IRN-BRU, which is more popular that Coke in Scotland. We also bought Thum Up, which is a form of Coke in India. It tasted like mud.

There was also Vimto, which she thought was a watered down orange/pineapple thing. However, after the Thum Up, it tasted like nectar of the Gods.

On Monday, we went up to Whole Foods to look around. They have beverages there too and I found a Kolsch, a beer from Cologne that I do not think I had ever tried. A very pleasant, snappy tasting lager.

It's Wednesday, right? All the time off, planned and unplanned has messed with my schedule. Could not even stay up late enough to watch the Blue Jackets lose last night. Hemsky beat them. That guy's good.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I lost on Jeopardy

This happened in late August 2004.

At about 10:45 I joined about 175 people in line for the Jeopardy Brain Bus at Nationwide Arena and contestant pre-test. By noon the crowd had swelled to about ten times that, good thing arriving early. It was really freaking hot out. So by the time we got into the arena the air conditioning was a great relief.

Lots of people of all ages showed up for a chance to be Ken Jennings' bitch :)

Me, I welcome the challenge of trying to beat his ass.

I took a pre test of ten questions, fill in the blank. It's a bit of a blur to me so I don't remember al the questions. The first was threw me. The category was 'Starts With F'. It was about the word for orphan that appears in the title of Fielding's 'Tom Jones.' I skipped that and correctly id'ed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, FDR, Tony Soprano, Sun City, Barbra Streisand and a few more. The only one I blew, it seems, was the first question. I found out later, by someone else who took the test, that the answer was 'Foundling'

Ah, never would have got that one.

After handing my test in, it was instantly looked at. I asked if I needed to get all ten right to move on. The guy said I did good enough, and handed me a piece of paper that says I go to the Great Southern the next morning for the next round of testing.


This is a 50 question quiz. I believe if I get a certain percentage of those questions right I go on to another audition, in which I am hammered with questions and expected to give an instant answer.

The tough part is coming.

But, as I mentioned earlier this week. This is the ice cream. It doesn't matter if the monkey is there. I'm having a blast.

I also got in line to play in a five question game with two other people. The Jeopardy 'Clue Crew' gave out the question. It was fun. Sarah, of the Clue Crew, is very attractive. I got to answer both questions I buzzed in time for correctly. Got a t-shirt that my son uses as a night shirt these days. Also scored a Jeopardy pen and keychain. Merv can afford it.

This was way cool. Never got to the second round for the Millionaire audition, but for Jeopardy I have.

(Next day)

The grand ballroom of the Great Southern is a spiffy room. I arrived in the lobby around 10:45, there were others I recognized from yesterday milling about. When the coordinator called down to us, "Jeopardy people please come up.", A couple of dozen heads looked up. Funny.

While milling outside the room, who walks in but Eric, one of my managers from B&N. Cool! He arrived at noon yesterday and waited in the hot sun longer than I did, but he got nine out of ten on the pretest as well.

We filled out a form, five interesting things about ourselves and waited for the room to open. Very well organized. No real waiting. We got in, Eric and I took our seats and were warmed up by Maggie, who told jokes and read us some sample questions.

Then Alex came via tape on the big screen and told us more about what was going to happen.

The test was fifty questions, and we had eight seconds to write down the answer. Then the next question was read and displayed on the big screen. No review. You could not leave notes on the paper. You either knew the answer, or didn't. THIS WAS REALLY, REALLY HARD. The questions themselves weren't necessarily killer, mostly 600-800 dollar questions, it was the bombardment. Just not my board either. I was in Chipotle later and out of the blue "Fiberoptics" came to me. Shit!

After our tests were done, they were quickly collected and the Clue Crew came out for a Q&A. Very nice, very pleasant.

Maggie came back with the test results, fourteen names were read. I was not one of them. But Eric got in!

Out of about 80 people in our session, 14 moved on. Eric came into B&N later. Very excited and happy, as he should be. THE TEST WAS HARD.

He's in the contestant pool. He could be called as early as next month, or not at all. It's a bit of luck now.

It was great fun and good experience for the next time.

Our scores weren't given to us, but Alex told us all we could say we only missed by one.

I do have to say, one more time that, THE TEST WAS HARD!

(Back to present day 2009)

As it turned out Eric did get on the show and won 11K. Eric was the fourth person I've known to appear on the program. Jon was an attorney from Columbus who won four nights, Melissa won three and a guy I knew in college made an appearance.

A few months later a friend of mine let me know that she thought she saw me on a promo for the Jeopardy contestant search that ran right before final Jeopardy. That night we watched and for a split second, there I was. They shot the footage at Arena the day before. So for many months, I was on television.

Over the next couple of years Jeopardy started an online contestant search. The test is similar to the one we took at the Great Southern. I've taken two of these tests and did not receive any form of a call back.

On the 27th of this month I'm doing it again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A phone call from long ago

Back in the 80's my ex was editor of the English Department's poetry quarterly. She brought in authors to give readings.

One day I answered the phone. It was for her.

"May I ask who's calling?"

"My name is W.D. Snodgrass."

And that was my conversation with him. I was not able to go to his luncheon or the reading because I had to work at the liquor store. He gave a good reading from what I understand.

W.D Snodgrass died of cancer at the age of 83. Check out the video of his last reading in October. A great poem. Look at his eyes and see how full of life they were!

I'm a reporter of celebrity death. You'll see that here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Like that G commercial, only worse

I'm thinking about bringing this blog back in April, after my Live Journal subscription is up. It's a big event as I've been there for over six years. I'm not getting as much out of LJ as I used to. The drama has gone away, but something is missing.

Ooh, and look at that new toolbar up top to add images, links and things!

Any thoughts?