Saturday, August 25, 2007

Stagefright or Vapidity? Miss Teen South Carolina

Keep in mind, this girl is only 17!


"Recent polls have shown 1/5 of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map, why do you think that is?"

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps; and I believe that our education, such as South Africa, and d-Iraq, and everywhere such as; I believe that they should... our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., errrh should help South Africa and should help d-Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for our..."

Notice the audience cheers.

I guess when you look like this at age 17,

you can say whatever you want to your peers. I can't tell if she was just nervous, unprepared for the question, or just a blonde bombshell stereotype in the flesh. One thing is certain, he response was still better than Miss North Carolina's response. The most challenging thing she's done in her life, "this one time I went snowboarding, and it was like, tough."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why I love the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act is an excellent piece of legislation. Not only does it make modern life and conveniences much more acccesible to the handicapped among us, it also has the added effect of making life easier for all of us. For example,

Public restrooms: In building built in the last 15 years, bathrooms are much larger, have more stalls, more sinks, etc. The large handicapped stalls are especially nice for people of my size. Sometimes I can't close the door on old stalls unless I back up and stadle the toilet.

Door openings. It is easier to gain access to buildings now. Thought investment in layout allows better flow of traffic. Wider hallways make passage easier and much safer in an emergency.

I never used to use the bathroom in public. Now the bathrooms are very well maintained and outfitted.

I find it interesting that the building I work in, Davidson Hall on Coker College's campus, has no elevator in it, yet the upstairs bathroom is wheelchair accesible.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Surreal, yet So Real

So, tomorrow I start teaching at Coker College. 33 years old, with 12 years of college has all lead up to this day. I finally will start getting paid, and start my career tomorrow. It's amazing.

Also amazing is Marley starting kindergarten tomorrow morning. She's five years old. I can remember my first day of kindergarten way back in 1979.

I should feel really excited about all this, but I'm numb. All I can seem to think about are all the poor people in the path of Hurricane Dean, and how they're about to go through the hell that I went through two years ago.

Pray for our Mexican brothers and sisters! This hurricane is another monster like Katrina. Espero que nadie se muera, pero sé que no será así.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pray for Our Mexican Brothers

Hurricane Dean is going to kill lots of good people.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A(n) (Irrelevant) Lost Art

In the Fall of 1988, one Friday night, I spent the night at Wes Wilson's house for a sleepover. Wes and I were some of the few people that we knew that really liked rap music. So this night, we were enthralled with this new song called "It Takes Two" by a rap group called Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. You all know the song. Instead of playing Contra (^^vv<><>BAselstart) or Double Dribble all night on the Nintendo, Wes and I taped the song off the radio, and then spent all night trying to figure out the lyrics to the song. We would listen to a line, write it down, debate the words, listen to it again, rewind the tape and verify that we were right. Luckily, Wes had one of those tape decks that had a rewind....mine was the kind where you had to take it out and turn it over and fast forward it to rewind the other side.

By the time we were done, I had memorized all the words. Suddenly, we were two of the coolest kids around (for a couple of days at least). I can still rap along to the song, rarely missing a word or a beat. It is a source of no small amount of pride to this day.

Nowadays, if a kid wants to know the lyrics to a song, he just has to go to google and type in the name, or even a piece of the lyrics that he knows. He can instantly know the words, or at least the internet version.....

Transcribing lyrics on notebook paper is a lost art. The kids don't know what they're missing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jack Williams = Big Dude

So, we the uninsured, paid for Jack's one year well baby checkup today, out of pocket. $105.

He got his MMR vaccine which pissed him off so much that he didn't cry, he just screamed and ripped the bandaids off his legs while looking at everyone with that "I hate you so much" look that he has mastered.

When it comes to how Jack compares to other babies his age.....well let me say that Jack is going to be, what Rick Viken and Buddy Walker called a "hoss." He is 13 months old and is 33 inches long. To give you an idea, he's in the 97th percentile for height. According to one estimator, that makes him six foot 2 by age 20. With my "bone structure" he should be a big fella.

Right now he's just pissed that he got the shots. You can't believe how guilty of a look he can give you.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tom Glavine 300 Wins!

Near the top of my list of all-time favorite baseball players you'll Mr. Tom Glavine. I stayed up last night and watched the box score update on the internet as he won his 300th game in the majors. I always new that Glavine would make the Hall of Fame, but the 300 magic number now leaves no doubt. He has done something that only 22 other men have ever done.
Once, my dad was in the lobby of a hotel in Arizona. The Braves were in town, and Glavine came walking by. My dad said hello to him, explained that we were lifelong fans, how we had had season tickets in the late 80's, and how much we appreciated his talent. Glavine asked my dad if he had a cell phone. He told my dad to call me. Sadly, I wasn't at home, but he did leave me a voicemail hello. He's a classy guy.

Some of my best memories of him are the photograph of him Smoltz, Avery, and Zane Smith on a cover of a program that said "Young Guns." I remember either Chuck Tanner or Russ Nixon putting him in as a pinch runner late in a game. I remember the famous story of him having to throw brushback pitches agains the first Phillies batter after they had hit one of the Braves. That batter was the recently traded Dale Murphy, and Glavine just couldn't bring himself to actually hit such a nice guy (and former teammate as Murph).

And then I remember that magical moment in 1995, when the Braves won the World Series on Glavine pitching eight innings of one-hit ball, culminating all of the heartbreak and ache of my youth into a glorious orgasm of elation and joy. I had done nothing to win the games myself, but I felt this tribal connection to that team. I convinced Paul Dunn to ride down to the airport with me to welcome them back. I got permission from Dr. Johnson at Georgia Tech to skip class and go to the parade. I remember seeing Glavine up on top of a firetruck, eyes beaming---though I have to admit that I mostly remember him because he was sitting next to his SMOKING-HOT now ex-wife. Wow, just wow.

Glavine won Cy Youngs. He's pitched another season of baseball in the post season. Along with Maddux, Smoltz, and maybe Chipper, he will be one of the Braves Hall of Fame inductees from their dynasty, and I hope that the Braves will retire his number 47 some day, along with Smoltz, Maddux, Chipper, and maybe Andruw.

Congratulations Tom! When you retire, please come home to the organization that cherishes you above all else. And to the Atlanta fans that boo whenever the Mets come to town and Glavine pitches. Shame on you! This man won the World Series for us.