Tuesday, November 29, 2005
If you choose to read this entry, I should warn you - there is a chance you will feel a little insignificant at the end. But there is also a good chance you will feel enlightened and uplifted. You may have seen it all before, so stop me if you're bored.
Above is a rather ordinary looking photo that is, by today's standards, not very good. You'll notice a glare across it, and a pale blue dot in the center of the glare. (highlighted by the line) That little dot is the only planet in the universe where we know, beyond any doubt, there is life.
It is the Earth, from 4 billion miles away, taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1991. Astronomer Carl Sagan's idea was to turn Voyager's camera around for one last look at Mother Earth before we winked out of view. The Voyager is now reaching the boundaries of interstellar space, somewhere we've never been before... but that picture might be the most meaningful ever taken of anything in the universe. He wrote about it, and here is the exerpt (from his book "Pale Blue Dot"):
"We succeeded in taking that picture, and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
"The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
No pumpkin pie.
Upon relaying this information to Spinning Girl, and after forcing her to listen to me whine and moan about the lack of said pie, she suggested (with just a twinge of doubt concerning my kitchen aptitude) that I create my own. Secretly, inwardly, I doubted myself and my abilities in the kitchen, but my doubt of the existence of a "pie fairy" was even stronger, so I agreed. She and I would bake pies concurrently. Click here to read her interpretation of the bakin' good times at her house. Read below to find (and see illustrations of) my version of the story.
Unfortunately, Spinning Girl informed me of the importance of preheating my oven at the same time as she was explaining how the pie fairy WAS real and all I had to do was believe, and click my heels together or some such shit. I chose to believe neither, so the oven went unheated for a good 20 minutes. I felt silly when I figured it all out.
I was aided by a bottle of Jacob's Creek. Everytime I spilled anything on the counter, I would take a drink. Anytime I mixed in another ingredient, I would take a drink. Anytime Spinning Girl turned the conversation back to her, I would take a drink. In no time, I was buzzing like a saw.
Oops, I spilled the evaporated milk. Time for more Jacob's Creek. I love that Jacob. About this time, I explained to Spinner what a mulligan was in the game of golf. I fear she didn't understand... neither what a mulligan was, nor why I even brought it up.
Mixy mix went the ingredients, drinky drink went Dave, and Spinny Spin went SG. As we talked, I couldn't help but wonder... "is it right to bake pies with your pants around your ankles?"
Mmm. Cool Whip. And NOT the kind from a spray can, I'm a purist, goddamn it. I used the frozen kind from a tub.
About halfway through the baking process, I looked in and saw the beauty that is pumpkin pie. The anticipation was unbearable, so to pass the time, I requested that Spinning Girl explain the Periodic Table of the Elements to me again, and we compared notes on how genius The Far Side's Gary Larson is.
The finished product! After baking it for an extra 30 minutes because of the altitude here in St. Louis, I realized I had baked The Perfect Pumpkin Pie completely from scratch.* It was all because of Spinning Girl that I realized my dream of having Earth's Greatest Pie, and found the personal strength to make it myself.**
Next week, profiteroles with neopolitan ice cream and hot fudge with a chaser of Hawaiian Kona coffee.
* Yeah, I said scratch. If IHOP's biscuits and gravy qualify as homemade, (as their menu says... even though they were NOT made in anyone's home) I can say this completely fabricated baked good was made from scratch.
** She forced me to say this. She's really persuasive that way.
UPDATE: The pie met with such positive feedback, Dr. Mike has already developed the art for my own line of pie mix.
"It's amazing that I've traveled so many places, done so many things, yet have little recollection of much of it. Only when someone jogs a memory, I can say "hey, I've been there!" So I figure recording some of the boring day to day thoughts, prognostications and anecdotes will occasionally produce a keeper. Someday I will write a book of the story of my life and include those 'keepers.'"
On the one year anniversary of my blog, I should point out that I'm no longer inspired to write such a book. I just can't imagine seeing some of it in print! Besides, isn't that such the stereotypical blogger reasoning? Screw that. Instead, maybe I'll parlay this experience into writing assembly instructions for particle board coffee tables or something.
I've had a lot of fun with the blog, met some really great people, and the hobby continues to be fulfilling. When that changes, I will say "the end."
And so for now, I blog on, the internet equivalent of the Voyager project. Never knowing when the trip will end, when you might stop hearing from me, or whom I may encounter.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Each blogger has different reasons for writing. To document their lives, to entertain. For some, it is practice for a career in writing. Some blogs are message boards to help families stay in touch.
I would say mine is all of those things. Maybe less of a practice sheet and more of a journal. At times, I slip into the trap of feeling the need to entertain, but that is not why I started my blog. Not to say that providing a laugh or fostering a thought isn't alluring.
My voice over business has never been better. 2005 was a year of very positive growth and I project the same for 2006. Meanwhile, I am working with my friend Tim to launch Travelhost Magazine of Greater St. Louis right now, which is another very exciting project. Business-wise, things are very strong and I am extremely busy.
On a personal basis, 2005 has been the most difficult year of my life. My daughter has been through some life-changing experiences and continues to struggle with them. She battles daily with her mother to find mutual respect. She is struggling to find herself, as so many teenagers do. She continues to inspire me with her realism, inner beauty and goodness, even while making things harder for herself in school and in her relationship with her mother.
A little over a year ago, my wife and I purchased our dream home. The move was hard, and strangely, we missed our old house more than we anticipated. Soon after, as had been prearranged years earlier, Danny moved in with his Dad. At that point, the new house felt very empty, and it was difficult to find a feeling of normalcy. Tawnya fell into a pretty deep depression.
On my birthday, April 27, 2005, completely by surprise, she informed me via email she was leaving. We talked and I thought I had convinced her to stay, but three days later, while I was away, she quietly moved her things. I came home to a half empty house.
I'm kind of an alpha and she's kind of amiable. Other than the fact that they both begin with 'a,' we have trouble finding common ground. There was solid ground in one respect, love, but it wasn't enough to keep things together.
In July, I decided that a 5,500 square foot house was too much space for one person, dream home or not. Reluctantly, I sold it and moved into a three bedroom condo. We had owned the house for exactly one year on the day I moved.
For two or three more months, we struggled to balance our differences against our feelings. We made flimsy attempts to reconcile, but nothing stuck. Now it's November and we've filed for divorce. It looks like January will be the end of the road. As I face my third divorce, I definitely feel fearful and uncertain, but I also need to reevaluate how I judge compatibility. I try to remain open minded to the possibility of loving again, but now is not the time to think about it.
This Christmas will be eerily quiet, as Courtney and I celebrate alone. I'm a strong person, but I know it will take everything I have to get through the next few months. Each day is a challenge to stay positive. I know I will be fine, but I also know I'm changed.
Winter will seem a little longer, and spring will arrive a little later. But the clock is ticking. Every day, it gets a little easier.
EDIT, March 25, 2015: She was cheating on me. I'm so incredibly glad the way things worked out.
Monday, November 21, 2005
PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 21 — A Nike Inc. corporate jet carrying seven people developed landing gear problems shortly after takeoff Monday and was preparing to make an emergency landing, officials said. Neither Nike founder Phil Knight nor any sports stars were on board, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
This is supposed to be part of something called "Me-so-cute Monday," but those who know me know that isn't a title that fits this blog. The word "cute" is decidedly too feminine. The general idea is to bravely post an old picture of yourself for the world to see. It's the brainchild of the Spinning Girl, who has a certain need to remind the world how cute she is. We'll analyze her later.
But in the spirit of friendship, (buddydom) I've agreed to participate. This is me in Key West,* in a margarita haze. Such great hair, right? Circa 1997.
*This was the trip when I participated in the Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest, under the false impression they were holding an Ernest BORGNINE contest.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
But I'm nothing if not a pleaser, so when people like Stacy flock to me for a morsel, it truly is the least I can do.
What were you doing ten years ago?
I was doing a morning radio show weekdays, called "Dave & Sue in the Morning." We were on a country station here in St. Louis, and Sue was late for work approximately 3 days a week. It was a running bit to determine what time she would arrive. Many times, she was late because she had stopped at Denny's. I hated that my alarm would go off at 3:30 am, but I would do it again. Working with Sue was great fun, and my workday was over by noon! This is the Christmas card we sent to other staffers that year. Yes, it's a black Santa.
What were you doing one year ago?
Still unpacking, after moving into a new house. Planning a holiday party for friends. Starting my blog. My one year blogiversary is coming up in a week. I had no idea how verbose and mundane I was. Or how short and choppy my sentences would be in this paragraph. God bless those who forgave my early posts and continued reading.
What were you doing yesterday?
I started by drinking a pot of the best Eight O'Clock fresh-ground coffee I've ever had. "Eight O'Clock Coffee - since 1859, a nationally recognized roaster and marketer of gourmet whole bean coffee." Then, I attended the class AAA state championship soccer game. My team lost 2-1 because of a referee who mistook his own ass for a hole in the ground. Afterward, I went to a friend's house for grilled chicken, baked cheese balls and some of the most potent Sao Paulo trip-weed I've ever smoked. (kidding, feds, only kidding) We then cha-cha'd on over to a new country bar called Saddle Ridge and watched women ride the mechanical bull. I just hated that part.
Five snacks you enjoy
1 - Tobasco Cheezits
2 - Beef jerky (was that my outside voice?)
3 - Trail mix
4 - Popcorn
5 - Spoons of room temperature Crisco with buttermilk chasers
Five songs to which you know all the words
1 - "Happy Birthday To You"
2 - Gilligan's Island Theme
3 - "Ninety Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall"
4 - "Heart of the Night" by Poco
5 - "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu," the National Anthem of Kenya
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire
1 - Purchase my neighbors' houses and totally kick them out so I could be as loud as I wanted.
2 - Buy a beach shack in the Caymans and get sand all up in it.
3 - Own a private jet with a fully stocked Krispy Kreme bar and an inflight Starbucks store.
4 - Three words: penis reduction surgery.
5 - Constantly be in the club with my homies, tryna get a lil V-I, keep it down on the low key, cause you know how it feels.
Five bad habits
1 - Cursing
2 - Not letting anyone ever hear me fart (wait, that would be a good habit)
3 - Procrastination (I can't even believe I'm finishing this damn list)
4 - Inappropriate thoughts during church
5 - Making shit up (things like I go to church)
Five things you like doing
1 - Snow skiing
2 - Travel
3 - Blogging
4 - Eating, trying unique restaurants
5 - Shoe shopping with Charles Nelson Riley
Five things you would never wear again (kind of a girly question)
1 - Lederhosen (just kidding, I'll wear them again)
2 - Knee socks with stripes around the top
3 - Inappropriate latex
4 - Girdle
5 - Pasties
Five favorite toys
1 - Laptop
2 - TiVo
3 - Treo
4 - Meo
5 - Mayo
I shall not, at this time, tag anyone... that's not how I roll. If you're interested in doing this, be my guest. But first, do some real, honest soul searching... because you might not be as interesting as me.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Those who are charged with working directly with "the client," the teachers and nurses, are grossly taken for granted, while school administrators and doctors steal the spoils. Fortunately for all of us, these positions are usually filled by people with great passion and love for what they do. A labor of love it is, to teach and influence children, and treat the sick. Thank you.
Plus, I've had some pretty good fantasies that involve teachers and nurses. Thank you for those, too.
I got off on a tangent.
The subject of this post is school. For whatever reason, I've been missing those days lately. When I was in school, I took the experience for granted and sort of wandered aimlessly through it. Don't get me wrong, I earned good grades and adequately prepared myself for the future. The part I miss most is the comaraderie, peripherals, the deep friendships... and just the aura of it all.
Remember walking the hall before school? Meeting your friends first thing and catching up, sneaking outside for a smoke before school or hanging in the band room? My routine involved the latter.
My friends Krent Thompson, Robert Estes, Troy Rogers and I would fire up our instruments, the trumpet, guitar, drums and keyboard... and jam. With the doors to the hall open, people would hear the music and come in. We'd play "Smoke on the Water," or some jazzy blues piece we had improvised on the fly. (there were other songs I don't remember, but those are trivial details) When our instrument cases opened, four young men would become consumed by a driving passion to create. To entertain. To open up. Good times.
And that's just one memory. If I were to continue, I could fill my entire blog with similar memoirs. Like most people, the most influential time of my life was spent in school. I'm not certain what has been triggering this recent nostalgia, but as I am writing this I've discovered that my old music teacher, Andy Anderson, teaches at a school about 10 miles from here.
I am emailing him in hopes of buying him a cup of coffee.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Three movements in the key of dumb:
Whether she laughed because she farted,
Or farted because she laughed,
One came from her bow,
The other from her aft.
Sally made the bed one day
And in it, she found fleece.
And that's the only way she knew
That Sam was screwing sheeps.
"How large do you normally grow 'em?" Jane asked
The cucumber farmer through the fence.
"You'll find them just right for a salad," he said,
"But too small to use in a biblical sense."
I should keep my day job.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Anyway, a list of things I've learned:
1 - What’s right for you isn’t right for the next guy. Unless we’re talking about Anna Kournikova here.
2 - The older you get, the more stamps you have in the house.
3 - Now’s not a good time. Tomorrow. Always tomorrow.
4 - The length of time you can tolerate watching reality television is inversely proportionate to the length of time a person who doesn’t know what “inversely proportionate” means can watch reality television.
5 - People named Howard always have a certain look about them. Also Larry.
6 - Your lower back will cramp at the furthest point of the bike trail.
7 - A cell phone’s address book capacity will always be approximately 90 percent of your number of friends, family and associates.
8 - Nobody stops by unannounced unless you’re naked.
8b - Being naked doesn’t necessarily make someone stop by.
9 - Vegetable medleys suck.
10 - Sometime when you’re out of TP, you may be tempted to use a “feminine napkin.” Avoid doing this. The linear slippage factor is vastly less than that to which you are accustomed.
11 - You can’t screw up stir-fry, even by adding fruit.
12 - Corvettes are “look at me” cars. Except, of course, the one my friend Gary owns. His is different. Just ask him.
13 - If you ever own a cat, you should name him Ron. Every time you call him you’ll giggle. Ron is no name for a cat.
14 - You can search every channel late at night, and nothing you find will make you stop missing Johnny Carson.
15 - There’s no way a person with hands the size of mine can ever eat an entire can of Pringles.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I had no idea how his proposal would change my life. A decade later I've done very well in this business, signing onto more than 140 stations. Along the way, I've been careful to give Bob the credit for all of it.
Bob died last week. He was 60. I got the word from my friend Kim via email, and I was not surprised to hear the news. Three years ago he was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. Clearly he made the most of the time he had left with his lovely wife Karen, and was blessed with very innovative new treatments which extended his life dramatically.
His life and legacy have been on my mind a lot this week. I am a product of his wisdom and I owe my career to him. Atop my list of blessings will always be the name Bob Grayson.
*Bob Grayson was his professional name, his real name was Phillip Lee McGhghy.
Monday, November 14, 2005
At that age, I hadn't yet developed my skills of disinformation and distortion of the facts. So, I spilled it and told the tale of how I had taken a shine to neighbor Sue Young's beautiful lillies, tulips and chrysanthemums, and had extracted them from her glorious flower bed to advance my cause.
Shortly after, I learned via a rather ardent ass beating that flowers belong to those who own the property around them. An intriguing concept, this... one I hadn't yet learned in my sum total of five years on Earth. After the Defilement of the Buttocks, I was made to walk the flowers back to Sue, present them to her and apologize. She cried. So... very... weak.
Ah, but it was indeed an ass beating for the ages. I'll always remember it, and to this day I always go through FTD.
Why don't you share YOUR favorite ass beating story? Come on, you know the masochist in you wants to.
|You Are 50% Weird|
Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!
And some really, incredibly COOL freaks.
So before you start feeling all smug about your weirdness, maybe take the test. Get back to me.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
By tomorrow evening, I'm fairly certain I will have blogged something extraordinary. I mean, truly genius.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
"A popular adult magazine has made an offer to the two cheerleaders accused of having sex with each other in a Florida bar and getting involved in a fight..."
I'm appalled at this behavior.* I don't condone it, I don't believe in it and I won't participate in promoting it. I discourage you from going HERE to see a little slide show, and HERE to read more about them.
I also hope you don't plan to buy a copy of Penthouse, in which they will likely appear nude soon. It just wouldn't be right.
*And by appalled, of course I mean delighted. This is the perfect fantasy of any NFL fan. It's not like we don't watch the telecasts with the hope that the director will put on a lot of shots of the cheerleaders.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Tickled the balls of a badger while crocheting a poncho for Hosni Mubarak.*
Chewed aluminum foil happily.Shirts 'n skins volleyball with Bea Arthur.
Filled the dimples of a golf ball with cherry syrup at the demand of a journeyman brick layer.
Hoisted a bag of gnu shit above my head while humming "Rhinestone Cowboy."
Speaking entirely in Azerbaijani, used beastiality innuendo to shame a barbershop quartet tenor into transporting me to a taxidermy shop on his unicycle..Allowed a squadron of gnats unfettered access to my navel.
But there is always... ALWAYS tomorrow.
*What type of person would use the name and reputation of this great man to advance his/her own blogging agenda??
Monday, November 07, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
This is a guy's paradise. A couple of houses ago, I designed and planned, and a contractor built, this media room. My friend Gary did the woodwork.
I will build an exact replica of this in a future house because it was the primo place to watch a movie or spend a football weekend. (the bar was right behind, just out of the picture) Being just one person, I don't need that much house anymore... but I still have the surround system, HD big screen and the furniture for watching football*, the Man Show and Old School.
*click the football link at your own risk.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Found in my yard after halloween: one egg, intact.
I can only surmise it hit leaves on the tree and bounced lightly to the ground on a particularly soft clump of grass. I can also assume it was INTENDED to hit the front of my house... obviously thrown by some weak-armed puss who couldn't vandalize his way out of a wet halloween candy bag.
No eggs actually hit my house, this was the one and only piece of evidence that any "fowl" play was occuring in the neighborhood.
Just off camera, I was half nekkid when this picture was taken. Trust me.
Happy Half Nekkid Thursday. To have fun with us, click here:
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
That quaker guy, much like the Burger King guy, kind of freaks me out. At least Burger King has changed their approach a little, with the king running it in for a touchdown. But that quaker guy, he just stares and stares.
I noticed in my area there is a Walgreen's pharmacy every mile or two. At first I felt it was overkill, but then realized why. It's because there is also a McDonalds every mile or two. You can leave McDonalds and go directly to Walgreens for your cholesterol and blood pressure medicine.
Song I'm listening to currently on my iPod: "He Went To Paris," Jimmy Buffett. Wait, a new song just came on, "Hold On," by Ian Gomm. (edit: as I wrote the rest of this entry, "The Last Resort" by the Eagles and "The Last Goodbye" by Poco also played back to back)
While pondering a solution for my friend Chris, who is searching for a suitable haircut to satisfy both his wife (who prefers him having enough hair to run her fingers through) and himself (who wants something more manageable and short) it struck me that there are two options, the Mohawk or the Mullet. Then, it struck me that those two hairstyles are diametric opposites - one long in the back and short on top, the other long on top and nothing on the sides and back.
I sure wish I could busy my observational skills with something worthwhile. Not to say that Chris' dilemma isn't. I'm just sayin'.
I wonder if it's normal to desire to be spanked with a fish. I'm wondering this on behalf of a... a friend. Yeah.
I get both Playboy and Newsweek delivered to my mailbox. Strangely, those publications are to magazines what the Mullet and the Mohawk are to hairstyles... diametric opposites. I actually read neither magazine, they just sit around collecting dust.
And by "read neither," I mean "dig furiously through the Playboy for the pictures."
A mullet is also a fish. Not a spanking fish, but I'm just sayin'.