Go west young man

•August 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Again, it has been way too long since I last posted, so I figured that the best way for me to jump start this clunker of a blog was to leave Charleston, journey to some exciting and faraway place, and then blog while I was travelling. So I have done just that, and am blogging, right now, from beautiful Seattle.

My sister has wanted to come here to the emerald city for quite some time, and it doesn’t help that I raved about Seattle after my last visit here, two years ago. In the interest of keeping our sanity, and keeping jobs that don’t easily allow one to take two weeks off for vacation, we decided that we would fly out of Charleston, instead of bussing cross country.

I won’t blog about the flight, because almost all airplane rides are boring, or at the very least, terribly uninteresting to those who were not on said flight. I will say that I was amazed that, regradless of an hour delay getting out of charlotte we arrived earlier than our original arrival time at Sea-Tac.

After that, we caught the metro to downtown Seattle where we met up with our wonderful cousin Lori at her stand in pike place market. We all went out to lunch for some sushi and then went our separate ways. Elena and I (Elena is my sister if you didn’t guess that yourself) then decided to meander around the city.

We ended up going to the Seattle art museum, (something I didn’t get to do on my last) which was phenomenal. It is a huge museum and every time we thought we were about done, we would discover some other room that led to a whole new wing. Apparently there is another SAM, which is even bigger than this one, so that’s gonna happen sometime on this trip.

We then walked down to pioneer square and back, and that’s really it for “today.” I say “today” because I’m writing these posts offline on my iPod and am planning to update as soon as I have wifi. Luckily, the ubiquity if starbucks and other coffee houses that offer wireless Internet make it hard to find a place that doesn’t have a signal.

Now I realize that this ended up being a long and terribly unintersting post. I promise they will get better, especially when we take a trip north, via train, to Vancouver!

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Dr. William Moore, R.I.P.

•March 26, 2009 • 1 Comment

I just learned tonight that one of my former professors at CofC passed away today. No details were released in the newscast as to the nature of his passing, except that he was surrounded by family at the end.

Dr. Moore was one of the best professors I had during my undergraduate career – if not the best. A testament to this is the fact that he was one of only three professors whom I took classes with more than one time. The two classes I had with Dr. Moore were Extremist Politics and the History of the Civil Rights Movement. Both classes met in the evening, and both classes were scheduled for 3 hours. Now, just because a class is scheduled for three hours (and in the case of Extremist politics, that was two times a week because it was an express course), does not mean that it automatically lasts for three hours, at least for most professors. In both of these classes, however, we were in our seats right until the last minute, due in large part to Dr. Moore’s ability to plan his lectures so perfectly, and in larger part to the fact that you wanted to be there for that time.

Before those classes, I had never learned so much in a class. Every class had me riveted, and my only regret is that I was unable, due to scheduling conflicts, to take Southern Politics with Dr. Moore. I was challenged more in those classes, than in any other class in my life. Our term papers for each class were not meant to be regurgitated information on a topic that has been bled dry (you can only write so much original stuff on Plato and Hume) by many other classes before hand. Instead, they were meant to inspire us to actually do real research, learn about these topics, and formulate ideas that had the opportunity to be novel.

Not many classes give you that kind of experience.

Dr. Moore had a huge impact on me as a student, and more importantly, he had a huge impact on how I view the world as a whole. Being able to research something like the Orangeburg Massacre, to sit down one on one with Dr. Cleveland Sellers who was charged with inciting said massacre, and get that kind of first hand information; that is something I would never had had the chance to do, and it was Dr. Moore who opened the door for me to immerse myself in that kind of history.

But he was also one of the funniest professors I ever had. I spent just as much time in class learning more that I ever had, as I did laughing harder than I ever hope to again. One of the stories that I remember most was him telling us how he grew up poor in the country and as he left the country and went on to college he came to hate the three things that epitomized poverty: corn bread, country music and overalls. He said that he did come back around to loving some good corn bread, and that country music – true country music – is one of the best genres out there. But he still couldn’t stand overalls.

The man was also a fantastic storyteller and this is due in large part to the fact that he was a primary source of information on the stuff were were studying. He infiltrated the KKK, was an “official” member of countless other extremist organization (through the mail), and had an FBI file on him due to COINTELPRO – the FBI’s counterintelligence program. He showed us how thick his file was, which he was able to request due to the Freedom of Information Act, and how almost all of it was blacked out due to “national security.”

Even though I haven’t contacted him since my graduation, my heart actually feels heavy, both from a sense of personal loss of a teacher who shaped who I am, but also a sense of the loss of future College of Charleston students who won’t have the pleasure of learning about all the various historical stages of the KKK, the John Birch Society, and the Communist Party. I’ve never had the privilege of meeting a more brilliant, more engaging, and more enduring a spirit as Dr. William Moore, and the world is definitely a darker place for its loss today.

A Merchant of Venice starring Vin Diesel and Katherine Heigl, for example

•March 22, 2009 • 1 Comment

I thought I would post a fun game that my friends and I created a while back.

The reason for this are that I felt the world would benefit from this fun and easy game. It’s perfect for road trips, or just hanging out.  The other reason is that I’m starved for blog ideas.

Here’s the game in a nutshell. You have to come up with a movie, and then come up with an actor who is not in that movie, and then come up with another actor who is not in said movie and who has never been in a movie with the first actor you named. You then state “x movie staring x actor and x actor. ” The funny part is imagining such a production with the actors you’ve conjured.  It helps if the actors you name have no chance of EVER appearing in the movie or anything like it, AND have little to no chance of appearing in a movie with each other.

The title to this blog is an example of this. Here are some more:

Judge Judy and Judge Reinhold in Daddy Day Care

Arsenio Hall and Dame Judy Dench in Nights in Rodanthe

Samuel L. Jackson and Rob Scheider in Pride and Prejudice

Clint Eastwood and Juliette Binoche in Kindergarten Cop (that actually sounds awesome).

Arnold Schwarzenneger and Denzel Washington in The Importance of Being Earnest

Rupert Evererett and Gary Coleman in The Matrix

and so on and so forth…

Please feel free to post your own contributions in the comments.

Staff Retreat Scheduled Until 3PM

•March 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So every year, the park staff goes out on “Retreat,” and basically this is usually some sort of fun activity where we explore some further expansion in the Agency. Last year the idea was presented to start a disc golf course here at the park, so we went out to the West Ashley Park and played disc golf.

This year we got to bike all over Charleston County Parks newest parcel of land: the Savannah Long Property out by Bees Ferry. The idea was to bike out on some of this pristine area, and be done by about 3 o’clock. Unfortunately, no amount of planning can account for getting lost in the wetlands.

Apparently, our guide had only been out at the property during the dry season, and had not considered the large amount of rain we received last week.  In an attempt to bypass a large flooded section of the trail, we blazed our own through the wilderness. This proved completely pointless, and we ended up just backtracking our way back to the trail (courtesy of GPS). What was going to be a leisurely 2 hour bike ride, ended up being twice that, and we all ended up biking 7 miles total.

In short, that was, quite possibly, the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Granted, the 7 miles through the woods on a single speed beach cruiser was tougher than biking for 50 miles out in Berkeley County on smooth-ish roads, but I haven’t had the opportunity to just play in the woods in a long long time. I think everyone should take full advantage of the next chance they have to completely ruin a pair of sneakers and an old pair of jeans by disregarding any notion he/she might have that jumping in the mud is a bad thing.

The only sad thing about having so much fun is that it made me realize that CofC oozeball is still dead. :(

The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone

•March 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Even if you didn’t download the new Hazards of Love album. You should well be able to guess that the above lyric could only have been produced by indie/prog/folk- rock band, The Decemberists.

I was happy, nay, ecstatic, that I did not have to wait a week to obtain a copy of said new album from Colin Meloy and company. Why? you ask. Sadly, I have become a slave to iTunes, especially since they so often allow me to purchase much of my favourite music before it actually comes out in stores. (I’ll definitely buy the vinyl of this album as well, though).

I just listened to the album straight through. This is really the only way you can listen to it, which is both a pro and a con. It’s a con because few of the songs stand as strongly alone as much of the other Decemberists catalog. It’s also a con because very few songs stand out from the album itself. But here’s the pro – and it’s a big one.

It is quite possibly the best complete album I’ve ever heard. It’s one continuous story, and all the songs complement and blend so well with each other, that you don’t get the feeling that you’re listening to 17 (count them, 17!) tracks, but rather one single super long song.

Sadly, this may not prove to be very accessible for a lot of people. Maybe the Decemberists really wanted to prove that they hadn’t sold out when they signed to Capitol Records. Their debut major label album with two 8 minute plus songs (one of which was split into three parts, and put out of order on the album) apparently wasn’t enough. Rock Opera was the next logical move.

I do suggest you give it a listen. I’m going to do so again right now.

Snack Attack!!

•March 18, 2009 • 1 Comment

So yesterday, Heather and I are sitting around. Heather hasn’t been feeling well lately, which coincided nicely with me just getting over a little bug I had.

The suggestion is then made that we head to the store to get a Snickers bar.

The final checkout did indeed include that Snickers bar, but it also ended up including:

2 (two) Nerds Ropes

1 (one) Snickers Bar – King Size

1 (one) small bag of Raisonettes

1 (one) box of Fire-Roasted Tomatoe Triscuits

1 (one) box of chocolate fudge

2 (two) cadbury creme eggs

1 (one) six-pack of IBC Cherry Limeade

1 (one) six-pack of IBC Tangerine Cream Soda

Now, to answer the questions you surely have. Yes, that is all we got. No, absolutely none of the above has any positive nutitional value. Well the Tricuits might have, but I’m pretty sure that value is negated when you eat the whole box in a sitting. And Yes, Tangerine Cream Soda is EXACTLY as delicious as you would think. I was expecting it to be super super sweet, and was hesitant to drink it, for that reason. But to my surprise, it turned out to be mildly sweet and totally fantastic.

My 100th Post

•March 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s not the 100th post I’ve ever written. But right now I have 99 posts currently in this humble blog, and this makes 100.

Now that that confusion is out of the way. We can all get on with this post…

I’ve got nothing. Well, I’ve got nothing that would be worth writing in my 100th post. I am going to post about the groceries we bought last night. But such minutia-related information hardly seems worthy of this centurian achievement.

Is centurian even an adjective I can use in this instance? I’m not going to look it up, but I think it fits alright.

Seriously though, the next post is about groceries.