Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dreamed Dialogues

I worked today more than I have in weeks. It’s not so bad, but I am definitely becoming used to the “live by my own terms” way of scheduling a day.

We are today seeing the last of the candidates for what will soon no longer be my job. It is very unusual, witnessing your own replacement. Almost like cheating in a way. I can’t imagine a man saying to his wife, “Baby, I need something more… specifically, physically. But, out of courtesy to you, I would love to get your thoughts about each of the women I am considering taking as my mistress. Realize before you comment that I will be leaving you for one of them, so speak carefully. Wanna do this right, ya’ know.” But not exactly like that.

I had pizza yesterday for lunch, and it made me depressed. Not because of some sort of diet thing, I just literally felt emotionally poor for several hours after that. I must find some new sort of cop-out meal.

I am just a shade worried about this coming Saturday. Though I am quite certain this won’t happen, I have this feeling that things that don’t seem to me like a great idea might seem to some like a great idea. I keep having this terrible vision of me being stripped naked, and hearing a couple of people say, “Oh come on, Brett. Play along!” This is followed by the naked me being carried in the air on the right shoulders of four people who proceed down the stairs of Tasty World and walk up and down Broad Street chanting and shouting. Every time I voice the complaint that this might be overboard, the reply is always, “Oh stop Brett, it’s a roast. It’s what people do at roasts.”

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I thought this was a cool look at Athens... especially for those of you who have ever considered yourself a "resident" of town, and not just a student.

Since last I wrote…

Hang on a second. That is another pet peeve of mine: Rearrangement of word order in order to sound more 19th century… specifically, moving the adverb away from the verb and before the subjectish (yet not a subject, but I can remember what it’s called… is it the subject of the clause?) thingy. However, I do like replacing the word “lately” with “of late,” because the Sportscenter anchors do that a lot, and that makes it cool.

Anyway, since I last wrote I have been to Nashville and back. I looked for apartments and it appears that I will have no choice but to:

A. Live out of town, away from the village that reminds me of Athens enough that I really wanted to live there and
2. Live in a really, really small place.

So, if you come to town, and it is necessary for the place to sleep more than two people, it’s going to get tight. Think, um, a bread box. Now think smaller.

Two points result from the trip. First, if you ever find it necessary to travel during daylight from Athens, Buford, or Gainesville to Chattanooga (or vice versa) without a strict time requirement, I highly encourage you to consider using GA Highway 53. If you will hit Atlanta during rush hour (which is what, 18 hours a day?), this will definitely save you time. It is a fun drive with lots of curves and some stunning views. It had been 5 or six years since I had been that way, and I intend to take it more often, just because of the joy of driving it. You can hit that on the way down by taking exit 312 (Rome/Fairmount) and going left.

Second point. I was listening to a talk radio program on the way back. This program had a correspondent at the ESPNZone at Times Square asking people to answer the following questions.

1. What is this coming Monday?
2. What is the purpose or meaning behind that holiday (ie – Who are we memorializing?)
3. Who fought in the Civil War?
4. Who did the U.S. fight against in World War II?

Several people failed to answer the questions correctly or even close. The host began a huge monologue about why this was a travesty, an obvious failure of our public school system.

So, here are some questions for you... and no arguing... state your case and don't call people stupid, hypocritical, aspiritual, ungrateful, flag-wavers, socialisists, liberal, conservative, tele-tubbies, jackets, gators, or badgers. I swear I will turn this car around:
- In a practical sense, is it important that citizens of the U.S. know what the purpose or meaning behind Memorial Day is?
- Why?
- Furthermore, if it is important, what needs to change in order to cause students to learn this?

Before you answer, note the following qualifications:

1. I have attempted to present this question without hint of what my own opinion of the matter is.
2. The following answer or anything not significantly more detailed is unacceptable: “You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” More meaningless drivel has never been uttered. People with doctorates in history can’t tell you where they or we are going.
3. Because we are thinking in practical terms here, the following answer is also unacceptable: “So they learn to honor the memory of those who died to preserve our liberty.” Practicality is in no way related to attempting to repay debt that can not be fulfilled. Important? I think so, but practical? No.

Try not to get too patriotic here and be practical. Save that until you’re dry-heaving after your 11th Rolling Rock on Monday night.

I will tell you why you’re wrong soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The System is down. The System is down.

1. I can only read like three of the 91,000 blogspot blogs I normally read. Some of you have obviously pissed God off, because I can’t see your rants. Or perhaps there’s just some sort of server problem with Google. Right.

2. Thanks for posting, Will. For the record, the line “Non-bloggers go to hell” was not an imperative, it was a warning. I’m looking out for you.

3. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, owwwww. At about the time the dentist finished my second tooth today and my discomfort level had risen to a 2 (out of 2), he said, “See, this is why we usually don’t do three of these all at once.” Nice, considering that you never gave me an “option.” Just take my money and shut up.

For the record I am not an anti-dentite.

4. Everyone has done something bad. I don’t mean something a little bit bad, like taking a mint out of one of those $.05 charity bins without paying for it. I mean like really bad… bordering on treason or blasphemy or really bad taste.

5. Would someone who has a background in law or a friend that does tell me what this thing means:§. I have obviously missed something along the way.

6. I think Carrie wins.

7. I failed to mention yesterday that I had downloaded a lot of Hall and Oates. I know that makes some of you hate me, but it is. Let’s make sure, those of you who sit around and talk about music with me, that we discuss their shtick.

8. Back to the teeth thing for a second. I managed to consume ¼ of a McDonald’s strawberry milkshake with a ¾ numb mouth, with nary a drop on my shirt. Saaalute (me)!

9. Nine is the loneliest number. Wait, that can’t be right. I’ll still bet it’s pretty lonely though.

10. My favorite Ben Folds lyric, as of right now:

“We were talking ‘bout something
Seems like was funny
Then Steven got quiet
I think Steven was mad
Maybe he wasn’t mad
But it felt very strange
For a moment
But the moment was passed
And forgotten about.”

11. (For my neighbor only): Sorry about the sound of glass breaking. Hope I didn’t wake you up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Four Releases On the State of Mankind

1. I am apparently a person of good dental hygiene for my age (huh?), as I found last September that I had managed not to go to the dentist for a significant period of time and somehow come through without any cavities. If you thought I was a strong writer, screw that… above all, I am a conscientious brusher! And that, my friends is more than I could ever have hoped for. I hereby invite my enemies to lace my oatmeal with a lethal mercury/lead/hemlock mixture, as I have achieved all of which I dreamed.

Nevertheless, there are “threatening areas” which my dentist and his accountant wish to treat tomorrow. So if you see me in the afternoon and ask me how my day is, please forgive me if my response is “Scwumtwuwessunt” followed promptly by an embarrassing episode of drool and an escapist jog to the nearest westwoom. I don’t mean to spit and run, it’s simply who I am.

2. Some time back, I was in awe at a song on an iPod commercial. In the presence of several friends on several occasions, I bitched and moaned at the proprietors of my window into the cyberworld about the fact that they did not publish the name and/or artist of the song they chose to use for their supposed loss-leader.

I found today that they, in fact, do publish this. You can look up all of the iPod ads on iTunes (the “I” stands for “more better”). You have to look under “videos.” Ahh, yes. When looking for music, I should seek visual means to that end (bastards). Thank you, may I have another?

In an unfortunately accurate bit of karma, the name of the song I had been seeking was “Jerk It Out” by Caesars. That is not funny.

I said, “Not funny.”

3. (Stream of consciousness rant) Many of you know of my early allegiance to the low-carb way of thinking about food… or shall I say “lifestyle.” No, I shan’t. That makes not eating bread sound gay… and in spite of my less-or-more involuntary celibacy, I will not give in to the dark side.

Wait. If I do give in, will you promise to protect french fries? Make sure that they continue to exist? I would definitely become gay if you could guarantee, and I by God mean guarantee, that french fries (and Jack Daniel’s) will continue to exist. Deal?!

Excellent! Everyone come over for “La Cage aux Folles” and Woodpecker Cider tomorrow. This is going to be so hot. And I mean SO HOT!!!!

(Forward six months. Brett is recovering from a failed relationship with a bartender at Boneshakers and a fierce addiction to the Oxygen channel. He learns, after a long night of cosmopolitans, that the U.S. Capitol commissary has changed the name of French Fries to “Freedom Fries” and that Jack Daniel’s has lowered it’s proof.)

[Enter Brett, in low cut pink dress with bare midriff, Britney-esque skirt, and red hair that would make Nicole Kidman sleep with Andy Dick.] “NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”

And SCENE (with apologies to George Lucas and all of the people who made Darth Vader the man, er legless robot thingy, he is today).

Long story short, I want a grilled cheese sandwich right now… a straight grilled cheese sandwich, damnit.

4. I realize that now, in the Christmas season, that we are all enjoying time with our families. And I can understand how that might make it difficult to blog.

However, I am very disappointed, and am afraid that you are killing Ol’ Kris Kringle himself by not staying connected with loved ones. So allow me to recite a few lines of my new version of “Silent Night,” which are specifically applied to your mumness of late. Here we go.

A one.

A two.

A one, two, three, (whoops) two, three.

“Silent Night
Monitor light
No one blogs
Dial-up bites

Round young virgins
Don’t know how to type
Nor do Trina
Or Will or Mike

Non-bloggers go to hell
No grilled cheese at Taco Bell.”

Merry Christmas y’all. I hope Santy is good to you. G’night!!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

If we had known, this would have been Show 3

The University of Ge0rgia
Redc0at Band

Georgia vs. Winder-B@rrow
Sept. 31, 2004


"Keep your seats everyone…

"The Redc0ats are coming."

(Four whistles and march-on begins)

“The University of Ge0rgia proudly presents the Redc0at Band, under the field direction of drum majors Meg@n J0nes, Ty C@rnes, D@ve H@nson, and M@tt H@ynor. Today the Redc0ats present a tribute to runaway bride Jennifer Wilb@nks. Here’s “Goin’ to the Chapel.”

(Music: “Goin’ to the Chapel)

(Music ends)

“And now the Redc0ats feature the Ge0rgettes, Maj0rettes, Fl@gline, and Fe@ture Twir|er with a medley of modern country hits. Here are S@rah Ev@ns’ “On the Backseat of a GreyhOund Bus,” and Montg0mery Gentry’s “G0ne.”

(Music: “Country Flake Medley”)

(Music ends)

“The Redc0at auxi|iaries, ladies and gentlemen. The Redc0ats conclude today’s show with the Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s hit “Breakdown,” and one-hit wonder Player’s “Baby Come Back.”

(Music: “Pop Medley: In Absentia”)

(Music ends)

“The University of Ge0rgia Redc0at Band, ladies and gentlemen.”

(Whistle blows, band runs to blocks)

“And now Bulld0g fans, it’s time for one of the greatest traditions in all of college football, the spell G-E-O-R-G-I-A Cheer. Are you ready?”

(four whistles and music begins)

"Give me a G
Give me an E
Give me an O
Give me an R
Give me a G
Give me an I
Give me an A

What’ve you got?"

(Glory begins. Over second time through Glory read this.)

“The Redc0at Band is under the direction of Dr. D@vid R0mines, Dr. J0hn Culvah0use, Dr. David Ki$h, and Brett B@wcum, assisted by Chris Pr0bst, Matt H@ynor, and J0hnny Hurd. Musical arrangements are by T0m W@llace, with percussion scoring and instruction by Rich@rd J0nes and J@vier Avi|es. Auxiliary C00rdinator is C@ndy Byrd R0land with Fl@gline Advisor Annie Mu||ins. Special thanks to band bitch Trina Nihoul, as well as military advisor and wake-up call specialist Gunner Smith. Your announcer has been Winston Lemonjello.”

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Life vs. Living

Major-league pet peeve of mine: In tribute to a teacher or mentor of profound impact, a speaker cites numerous examples of small lessons learned from said subject. Just prior to the presentation of meaningless plaque (which probably contains the heading: “In appreciation for [insert thankless job]”), the speaker then states “But more than teaching us about [insert primary subject area of teacher/mentor’s interest], s/he taught us about life.”

Holy Copulating-without-consideration-of-love-or-procreation Deity, I hate that. That crap is straight out of the moral wrap-up of a Rodney Dangerfield movie.

Nevertheless, I find it necessary to differentiate between life and living, citing specific examples from the past five days with my folks. As I share a very strange relationship with my family, being a strange person and all, I have to dig and ignore a bit to find some substance in a vacation, but it’s there. Shall we? (yes)

Life: Being conscientious about what you eat on vacation, knowing it will show up in some place that will make you look even less-correctly proportional than you already are.
Living: Eating one (which becomes four) more of Granny’s homemade biscuits with sorghum molasses with the full knowledge that it isn’t exactly carb-free.

Life: Having to speak cautiously about your plans for the future, knowing that the revelation that you don’t exactly have the next year “figured out” will throw your folks into a worry-fit, being as they have planned everything that has happened for the last fifteen years or so.
Living: Watching your mother’s eyes near the point of explosion when you let it slip that you don’t yet "have a place to live," though your move date is some 55 days away.

Life: Dealing with the effects of losing power and phone service in your condominium, rendering your intention to work on vacation a pipe dream.
Living: Holding your dad’s laptop open in the passenger seat of the Caddy, reading aloud the available networks and number of bars as he mopes down US 17 seeking wireless internet service so neither of you feels disconnected from the real world.

Life: Resigning yourself to the fact that going to dinner requires five minutes to buckle your nephews in, not to mention your own sitting unsecured on the floor of the minivan, due to the doubling of the size of your immediate family in the last eight years.
Living: Being the designated co-rider with your 22-month old nephew and realizing as the “Himalayan” begins that: 1) you are only secured by what most might refer to as “a string;” 2) that centrifugal force (is that right, Trina?) will gradually drive his entire body under your right leg, thus endangering your nether-regions, and 3) remembering that rides that go around in circles make you horribly nauseous; yet finding a way to say “Weeeeee” every time you go around, hoping all the while that your face doesn’t turn green and that you don’t vomit on your brother’s second child.

Life: Playing golf with your dad, watching his follow-through really, really shorten up, and recognizing this as a symptom of something quite a bit worse than the ailment you already know to be troubling him.
Living: Refusing to use this as a reason not to rib him without mercy, as follows: “Nice drive Dad, until that part where it went into the bunker.”

Life: Knowing your nephews will probably render a key or two of your penano useless by banging on it incessantly like a “Beat the shit out of this car for $2.00” car.
Living: Watching your sister-in-law force a smile and restrain a laugh as your four-year-old nephew forces her to listen to a Gb (b5, add b9, #9, 11, #11, b13, 13) chord. Editor’s note: This sounds like Damien incarnate, and its only known use in modern music was in the Castro Symphony for Saxophones and Manual Stapler, op. 12.

Life: Trying to force members of your family who may be contributing to the Ralph Reed Election Fund to change the channel from the NASCAR wrap-up post-show outro review or Fox News.
Living: Jumping up and down like a four-year-old at the dinner table when you see Knight and his merry band on Wheel of Fortune.

Life: Tiring of the SC Interstate road seams beating the following rhythm against your tires over and over and over and over and over again: 1, 2-a, (3)a, (4)&a, (1), (2)e a, 3, (4)e&a.
Living: The change as you cross over the Savannah River and the rhythm changes to “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”

I am going to be more careful the next time I say “That’s life.” I’m not sure that’s what I always mean.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Internet down... won't be able to post or communicate, maybe til Saturday. Send smoke signals if you need me. Then you may ask, "Wonder how he's posting this." Excellent question.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sex in the Stop 'n' Go

I’m here in Myrtle Beach (“the Emerald City”) with the family on “vacation.” I’m a little disappointed, as Mom had told me that they were going to give me a room of my own so I could get some work done while still enjoying some time with everyone else. Some time between the time those words left her mouth and the time I arrived, something changed. I have never been verbally apprised of that change. All I know is that my bags are in the room where there are two beds, one of which my Granny occupies, and my computer is in the den… the hub of activity, which will tomorrow pit Gershwin against “Veggie Tales.” I can’t complain, because the ocean is through a window to my right, and I get to giggle tomorrow when the boys (4 and almost 2) will ask about the “penano” (piano) in the den. But it would have been nice to know.

As I was driving in today, I made a stop in Florence, SC, a place Dave once called home. I stopped for gas, a Dr. Pepper, and peanut M&M’s, but as any wise boy would do, I took advantage of the opportunity to utilize the facilities at this fine establishment. As I have encountered many times on the road, my view over the toilet was of a machine which dispenses various and sundry aids and/or forms of protection for use in sexual activity.

I have often wondered why gas station restrooms near major thoroughfares are the chosen venue for distribution of said product. I am to assume that this is the result of research which indicates that locations surrounding gas stations tend to be the site of more coitus than other locations. I am left to wonder what might be the cause of such a strange balance. Here are a few theories.

1) The word “pump.” Though this has never happened to me, I suppose that a particularly amorous individual could be driven to sudden stimulation by association with an overhearing of this word, and thus must make quick work of relieving his/her urges. Example:

Attendant: “Can I help you?”
Innocent individual (in very, very thick southern accent): “Yeah, awm, ‘at pack ‘uh Combos, pack ‘uh Wintagreen Skoal, and awm, Pump Seb’m.”
Subject: “Oh, God!”

2) The end of the fueling process itself. For males, the act of tapping the last few drops of fuel from the pump (Easy, now!) has been likened to a similar act when concluding the process of relieving oneself. One could conveniently forget the practical dissimilarities between the two (i.e. - little EPA regulation of urination devices, the fact that male organs can generally not process credit/debit cards) and theoretically fantasize to the point of arousal. Hmm.

3) The fumes, though I have good reason to believe that the fuel most likely to produce fumes which have an aphrodisiac effect is diesel. I did ride in the trucks for six years, and I saw some interesting stuff didn't I (you know who you are)?

4) The Harlequin-esque romantic propositions which can be found etched into and written in marker on bathroom stall doors, walls, mirrors, and anywhere else in a restroom where a would-be-Shakespeare has the potential to reach a flat surface with a spare key or Sharpie. Indeed the sonnets have nothing on, “For hot man luv, meet here on 5/18/05 at 11:40 PM SHARP!!! Rub hand over crotch.” This is often followed by an exquisite portrait of the poet’s physical intentions, sometimes including a diagram of the individual physical components involved in the proposed encounter, the accuracy and vision of which make the Vitruvian Man look like color-by-numbers. Editor’s Note: Guys, it may be wise to avoid the Shell on McLeod Blvd. in Florence late tomorrow night, especially if your britches aren’t fitting perfectly.

Perhaps an alert entrepreneur could take advantage of this and create “RandyMart,” where everyone who attends knows why they’re there. That way, those simply interested in fuel and a Slurpie can go to the Stop ‘n’ Go and not have it rubbed in our face... so to speak.

Monday, May 16, 2005


First, an update. Finals are fini. Search is underway. Pseudo-vacation is nigh.

The gentleman who interviewed today to become the new me had a tough break as his audition ensemble was made up of about 25 people, ranging from a few principal players in the wind ensemble to at least one songwriter-turned-
educator-turned-songwriter playing the secondary instrument, which he once played somewhat poorly. Turns out that I now play the tuba very poorly, and Jaime R. was beside me to hear it. We each promised that we wouldn’t tell anyone, so shhhhhhhh!

I have always, or almost always believed that musicians should listen to all types of music, and that little harm can be done by listening to a style or genre of music which does not happen to be that of one’s livelihood. My friend Steve D. got me listening seriously to jazz several years ago (after my middle school BD had me listening to it as a hobby). It has definitely helped my writing, and has done wonders for my teaching ability. I have also taken great joy in witnessing his education in modern country music. In fact, I have taken a bit of joy in watching many friends learn the finer points of country music when pointed to a gem or a work of a particular depth (I’m not sure that it is stylistically correct to ever refer to the “finer” points of country music. Something about light beer and a chaw just causes me not to think of the word “finer” in association with the genre. Perhaps it’s just me.).

Side note: In thinking about the recent upswing in country music sales and profitability, I would now, more than ever, wish to say to the entire industry, “K, y’all. Lots of people that don’t listen to country music are now thanks to Tim McGr@w, R@scall Fl@tts, Gretchen Wils0n, B|g & R|ch and others. Y’all don’t put out any crap for a couple of years and let’s see if we can’t break the 11% mark of total sales. Whaddy’all say?” While driving back from dinner on Saturday night with Trina, I was reminded that this would have been futile, as I finally heard a tune that I knew was on the way, but didn’t realize completely sucked hayseed. The tune is called “H0nkyt0nk Bad0nkad0nk.” I am dumber for having heard it, and in fact accidentally drooled on my guitar tonight. Bummer.

Back to the point. I’m finding that the Gershwin, B. Joel, opera, and Prokofiev I’m writing for marching bands is driving my musical thought. It’s making my country songs better, increasing my writing productivity, and actually giving me a bit of a foray into the pop (and maybe even R&B) style. I think it’s cool that not being exclusive to one genre actually helps one write within one’s chosen genre.

I’m packing up the computer tomorrow and heading to the beach with the whole fam damily for a vacation (more or less). I have to write the whole time to stay ahead. But I’m still hoping for a sunburn or two, and a golf score of under 140. One can always hope, until one has proven that one sucks at golf.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Look at what happened yesterday. Take a look.

Change of plans

I am not going to Nashville...

tomorrow. Something has come up that makes waiting 9 days worthwhile, so I shall.

In completely unrelated news, the Leader, Follower, or Get Out of the Wayer's mom and a UGA SOM Alum (Joey) made the paper recently, although it was for a sad reason. Read it here if you want. You don't have to "subscribe." Just get a user name and password and all, and enjoy the pop-up ads.

It's healthy to read the paper every now and then.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Captain Idol

I realize this makes me profoundly unmarketable… takes my stock down, if you will, from whatever questionable level it was prior to this revelation. But every now and then, a guilty pseudo-pleasure of mine is eating food from a specific seafood establishment. I wouldn’t do this if I could cook more than like four things, but I can’t. I tire of those four things easily.

Tonight, the line at the drive-thru was very long, so I went in. As I looked at the maritime paraphernalia on the walls, I was transported to a magical world. A sea-faring explorer was I. I could almost feel the scurvy overtaking me, and I began feeling woozy as the waves caused the ship I was on to rise and fall. As I found myself almost unable to gain my sea legs, my fantasy was interrupted by a voice. A distant but concrete voice, saying… saying…

“Can I take your order?”

What the hell is up with the décor in these places? Do people need to feel like pirates to eat that low-grade fish and ultra-greasy hush puppy crap? It could at least be made somewhat believable if “Drunken Sailor” or the soundtrack from Pirates of the Caribbean were playing over the Big Lots-quality stereo system. Instead, it was some horrible Kenny G clone playing some pseudo-fusion version of something undoubtedly in the Public Domain. Made John Tesh sound like Wagner.

“Woah, the waves! The boat is sinking!”
Give me a break, Cap’n Deez.

To make myself further unmarketable, I must admit that I watch American Idol. I have a fiercely unhealthy fondness for Carrie, the country singer. What is perhaps more unnerving is that I respond emotionally to the show’s open. For some reason, it amazes me to think about this event that is, for many, the highlight of their week. Something about that little minimalist theme, the graphics, and the sort of collective excitement of millions of bored Americans gets to me. I don’t cry or anything like that, but I am always engaged by it. I get genuinely pumped.

I think it is even cooler when the loud melody-less theme morphs into that soft synthesizer and bass-driven repetitive rhythm that is almost always present unless someone is singing. If I were very small, I would be convinced that this rhythm was being played constantly by several squirrels or rodents imprisoned in a large rhythm factory, when the show is on, and when it’s not. There would also be humans involved, but they would be the lucky ones. They would only be responsible for the “Buuuurrrrrrraaaaaaaaooooooow” and “Eeeyayeeeyayeeeyahah” portion of the theme. I would feel sorry for the rodents and know that they envied, perhaps even hated the humans, knowing that they were free to take the frequent smoke break and visit with family outside of the six minutes per week they actually worked. All the while, the rodents would slave away… dividing time with two notes, with no end in sight.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure this isn’t true.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Here's a great quote

I'm working at a fever pace, or is it fevered pace? I'm quite sure it's not LeFevre pace. There's no hidden meaning there, though I did once know an older woman on the Sudler Committee named M@xine LeFevre. She didn't move very quickly, at least never with me.

I think that paragraph would qualify as a digression, yes? Please make a note of it.

In any case, I am working pretty hard to finish up several pieces of horn books so I can get to Nashville on Thursday and Friday, back here Saturday through Monday, and then off to Myrtle Beach Tuesday through Saturday (yes, the next one... I haven't figured out how to travel back in time... yet). So I don't have time to offer a significant bit of insignificant gibberish (yet, I somehow have time to digress, and now even to reference my own digression. Yes, Kit... wow). But I do have time to share with you one of my favorite quotes. Here goes.

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." -Gilda Radner

If you know anything about her, this probably makes perfect sense. If you don't, it might be worth your time to look into it. Here's a start: She was the first person ever to be hired as an SNL cast member. Truly a beautiful human being. She's gone, but we still have Roseanne Roseannadanna.

Two Things

Thing One: My friend Charles linked this tonight. If you have ever felt bored, unproductive, or useless, please accept the result of your click as validation and proof that you aren't.

Thing Two:
The good-byes have begun. The semester is wrapping up. Unworn t-shirts are getting a good laugh and are then being thrown into the collective waste-baskets at the ends of halls all over campus. Empty liquor bottles are being trashed so parents don't ask questions when they arrive to help their now-permanently changed children-turned-college students move back to their permanent residences. The valuable contents of dormitory rooms are being carefully folded and placed in those big Tupperware things all over this beautiful place, interrupted briefly by hallmates for hugs and laughs, before the students return home to find that they in fact can not truly go home again.

Over the last couple of days, I have had my first occasions to sit for a few minutes with people who have meant a great deal to me and simply visit before they return home for the summer. But as the conversations come to a necessary close, the habitual verbal farewells effect a mental double-take. I usually say "K, see you 'round." It occurred to me today as I said this to a great friend whose head will rest in Norcross tomorrow night, "Well, Brett, no you won't." I will see this friend, but not around… not in passing, but in very specific instances in which life allows me to… and not until after the time when my driver’s license is issued by a different state.

This is the part of the entry in which I express that I do not mean for this to become depressing and that I remind all readers that I write here ultimately for my own purposes. Ready?

I don’t mean for this to become depressing, but remember that I write here ultimately for my own purposes.

If the hopes and necessities of this old soul would allow it, I would never leave. I would never set foot out of this county without the intent to return in a timely manner. I would never stop teaching what I teach, spending time with the people with whom I do on a frequent basis, or even move out of this cramped apartment which has more problems than I can name and more memories than I could ever have hoped to have experienced.

If I could continue to live and eventually pass right here with the knowledge that I had done everything I could, had become everything I could become, and had shared everything that was fair game, I wouldn’t even think about leaving.

There have been moments over the last 13 years when I couldn’t believe how good I had it. Now that I’m walking away, those moments seem to come more frequently, and I seem to look back at the older moments and realize that my awe was entirely justified. I think about the experience in total and say to myself, “There is no way that all happened. No way, and especially not to me. And if it did, why would I ever leave?”

The answer is: It did happen. Yes, to you and everyone you ever shared it with. And you’re leaving because you can now do little more than repeat it, and because, in spite of the joys inherent in that, there is something more.

I say this with all of the appreciation in the world for the things I have given and received here; I suspect most people never have an experience like I have here. But as much as I would live in this forever, as fulfilling as this has been, I believe there is something more.

I know I am going to kick and scream on July 16.

Better to kick and scream now than to look back and sob later... and wonder forever.

How did they ever get me to leave the womb?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Theory of Abundance

I suppose it is very easy for me to write this in front of everyone, being American and all. I happen to have been born into a free country, at the point of the greatest economic output and value in the history of mankind. I happen to have moved to an area of the world (greater Atlanta) to which PBS recently referred as “the fastest-growing civilization in the history of mankind.” I happen to be employed by a university, which is growing in size and stature at a rate unprecedented by any public institution ever. I have particular affiliations with a particular school within that university and an associated private athletic entity which are experiencing similar growth.

It is natural for me to believe that there are no bounds.

I think human beings often handcuff themselves by perceiving finiteness. I realize that there is a great deal of suffering in the world. This opinion is not about that suffering, but it is duly acknowledged, and more solemnly mourned.

I believe that most people think in terms of a defined beginning and end to resources, and that we discount the human and temporal elements of existence. I think we write the human off as unable to create and develop new ideas. I guess this is what creates my fiscal conservatism, as I believe that not removing financial value from the private sector improves the possibility of its being invested in elements of initially lower value to create goods or services of greater value. I might be wrong, but I hope I’m not.

Anyway, what I do know is that we perceive a beginning and end to ideas. We put boundaries on possibilities because we choose to see the world through the biggest scope we know, which often isn’t big enough to know the truth. Here are some notable examples (all of which are plagiarized from That Book by Mitchell Symons © 2004, Harper Collins):

• “No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris.” – Orville Wright

• “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – Harry Warner (of Warner Brothers, 1927)

• “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” – A Yale University professor’s comment on Fred Smith’s paper proposing an overnight delivery service, which would later become FedEx.

• “My imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew.” – H.G. Wells

• “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell (Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899)

In writing, I frequently believe that the best thing that I have or can write is the thing that I have just written. I am trying to change that. I want, and am trying, to believe that the best thing I can write is the next thing that I write. If I prove myself wrong, then I don’t suppose it is a ridiculous proposition to try again? If I continue trying and continue failing, presumably I will eventually be dead, and won’t know the difference.

In my relationships, I often assume the last great friendship that I had, or the one to which I currently aspire, to be the greatest possible. I would prefer to believe that the greatest friendship I can have will be the one I have with you tomorrow… or perhaps, the one I will eventually have with the person I meet tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Dunno.

I’m tired of beginnings and endings. I would choose to recognize them only in terms of movies, books, meals, pieces of floss, my rope, Waffle House coffee (wait… scratch that), Abbey Road, and life itself. Until then, I think I am going to look into not being so confining about things. I just don’t see the point…

…sole exception being this entry.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Random time

A little squirt I know sometimes feels then need to tear off all of her clothes and run around naked (Guys, stop now… she doesn’t have a cell phone, she’s not even in school here, and in fact she is 3-years old. If you write something sick about this, I will force you to sing “Billie Jean” at my roast.). This is called “Naked Time.”

With the exception of an episode of somnambulation, which I experienced at the Sherat0n in Philly last year, we don’t so much have naked time at my house these days. What we do have is “Random Time.” And Random Time starts……



There are two good friends of mine who are making trips to Europe in the next couple of days. I hope I get there some day soon. Until then, please take digital and mental pictures and have the time of your life. Travel safely and Godspeed. I will see you back.

I was having a conversation with one of those friends the other night, and she was telling me about needing to study but having a friend come into town. She was ready to forsake the “A” in favor of spending time with her friend. I believe that’s the way to live.

I am as comfortable with myself right now as I ever remember being.

Benedict Arnold was a traitor…. to occupied colonies that were revolting against their legal government.

I am terrible at spitting. I would be considered much cooler in the more rural parts of the world if I could spit farther, but I can’t. I have to concentrate every time I spit in order to avoid soiling my shirt.

I hate ironing.

You know that eyebrow thing that the wrestler-turned-laughable-actor “The Rock” does? He probably spent time on a stool in front of a mirror with a good friend going, “Ok, ok, well what about this? Too intimidating do you think? Scares the ladies and the children? Well, what if I kinda smi… oh, it’s the other eye. Well…” etc, ad nauseum to get that exactly right. Wow.

I really like lists. But Liszt, I really don’t care for.

I just mis-spelled Liszt as follows: “Listz.” And rather than re-type it, I highlighted the “Z,” cut it, then pasted it between the “S” and the “T.” Mo… and Tr…, tell your European friends about that one. They will hate us more then.

My politics are changing. So I am thinking about starting a new party called the “Kxdwuplmrryhgenjcaqt” Party, pronounced “Kur-rekt.” All of the following letters are silent in the name of the party: xdwplmyhgnjaq. That way only the smart people would join the party…. ooops, that would knock out 90% of the electorate. Never mind. Scratch that. Bad idea. Check, please.

Every time I want a non-water thirst-quenching drink, I have a moral debate in the convenience store. I look at Gatorade with nostalgia for the old one-flavored drink… “your father’s Gatorade” if you will. Then I look at Powerade, and think “Wow, made by Coke, which is a Georgia company. Wasn’t created by UF. There can only be one choice.” Then nostalgia and guilt kick in and I am paralyzed. I don’t think this is the intent of the “thirst quencher” purchase.

As a member of the Grand Jury, I will now require everyone to refer to me as “Jurah.” Example:
Brett: “Hello, ln.”
Ln: “Hello, Jurah.”

I bought that extreme deodorant the other day because Knight doesn’t like it. Then I started thinking of things that will probably never be referred to as extreme. Here we go: crackers, tampons or maxi-pads, vanilla extract, milk, bread, coffee filters, Trapper Keepers, scrunchies, socks, hearing aids, IUD’s, money market accounts, retainers (the orthodontic kind), arterial stints, nail-clippers, matzah, Michael Bolton compilations, Consort, Nice ‘n’ Easy, #2 pencils, combs, and tweezers. I’m sure there are more.

I think the people who bring you Oreo are missing a major opportunity by not packaging that cream filler stuff in tubs minus the black dental hygienist’s nightmare cookie thing. (Editor's note: "Black" here refers to the cookie thing.)

Asterisks are stupid. More stupid is that the plural of “asterisk” is “asterisks.” It should be “astrices.” It isn’t.

Why is a studio apartment called that?

Alex Trebek is doing ads for Colonial Penn. Does he seem like he should be considered a senior citizen? I originally wrote something gross here about Alex and inherent senior male difficulties, but then removed it. “What is ‘too gross to think about?’”

That is all.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bygones? Not anymore.

I had an experience today that brought up a past that I was well on my way to forgiving and forgetting. A once-trusted colleague and friend proved to me and others that the indiscretions of his past were not a blip on his moral radar, but were rather a symptom of his total absence of goodness. I have some things to say in his direction, though I don’t know if he reads this. So if you wish to read what happens when I am profoundly disappointed and angry, read on. If not, check back soon.

To Whom It May Concern (and you know who you are):

All people are fundamentally selfish, and it is only through the grace of a Greater Truth that we are capable of respecting the aims, desires, and needs of others. It is only through a need for something greater than ourselves that we can be willing to calm our self-serving instincts in the hope of being a part of a more global happiness.

You have proven, against my own wish to see some glimmer of good in you, that you never accepted this. It wasn’t enough for you. Thus you are left with nothing more than the only thing with which you ever concerned yourself: you. And that isn’t very much.

In the one moment in which my teachers, turned-mentors, turned-colleagues, turned-friends turned to congratulate me, you had to have your turn. “Halleleujah! Benedict Arnold is gone,” you said with a volume that was audible to far too many, as I was being wished well.

To think that I had intended to write you a letter thanking you for your contributions to me (when you still exhibited your best) now sickens me. It was just last week that I was extolling your virtues while listening to your work, but I now finally recognize the moments I heard as nothing more than academic and musical masturbation. So rather than attempt to support from afar whatever is left of what I once perceived to be occasionally misguided brilliance, I now choose to point out your every flaw. I choose to tell the truths that I had chosen to muffle, to expose the profound weaknesses that I had spun as the results of your eccentricity. I choose to reveal to those who want to know and those who don’t how shallow your façade of brilliance was.

You are a selfish bastard. Your existence is meaningless, and you will have left the world nothing of benefit when you are gone. You are an unmitigated fraud, and I look forward to the replenishment of the deficit of goodness that will accompany your departure.

You invert the value of the space you consume.

I am thankful that you have no one in your charge from whom you may suck life, and I intend to exhaust my every rightful avenue to make certain that you never do again. The fight was over, and you chose to take a little jab at the wrong man. I might still be a runt, but you have never seen me this angry. Unfortunately for you, your ace-in-the-hole is gone. You’ve nothing to hold over my head, and I have a very, very big mouth.

I will bide my time until I have no consequence to fear for speaking the truth about you, your actions, and your complete lack of regard for any entity other than yourself. Then, you will find my gloves on the floor, my eyes bloodshot, and my rage highly irrational.

Best wishes,


PS – Publix is hiring.

Monday, May 02, 2005


One of my students and good friends, NB, wrote an opinion piece in the ABH today. It is worth your read. I love what he had to say... I just wish someone had a solution.


I have just received this picture of the cake from my widdle surprise potty. Enjoy.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Every Weekend Should Be Twilight

Just after writing last time, Russ and Ln arrived after the Funkle show. We hung out for a few minutes and were then glued to the TV set as it was being announced that the Wilbanks woman in Duluth had been found in Albuquerque.* We all went to bed smiling and happy for the family.

Saturday morning, Gunner called and woke Russ and I for our round of golf, and what a round of golf it was. Gunner shot his best ever round, 67. Russ had a hole-in-one on a par three that didn’t even bounce; his drive literally landed in the hole. I know this is hard to believe but I got a hole-in-one on a par 5. What can I say I got a nice roll! Russ shot a 70, and I shot a 72.**

Russ and I went to Waffle House and brought it back to the 'kstone, listening to the radio as the Runaway (literally) Bride drama continued to unfold. I think all three of us took a sugar-induced nap and woke just in time to get dressed and head to Tasty World for Serena’s surprise welcome home party. We had a blast and I think she did too. We headed to the Grill, a non-local coffee establishment (grr), and a few minutes of the last race of the night before Dave, Russ, and I were to play with Modern Skirts.

I’m sure Russ will tell you this, but I will too. As were waiting to go on, he and I were standing in the back hallway that leads to the restrooms and back door of the venue. A young lady walked in between us and appeared to be oblivious to our presence. She tilted her head down to watch as she re-tied her sweater around her waist. As she completed the process, she jerked rather rapidly away from her body with both hands for the final tightening of her very fashionable knot. She gently struck me in a way that was not painful. She however struck Russ in the right testicle, effecting a groan not unlike the one I uttered on Acrophobia. It took the young lady a few seconds to realize what she had done, but when she did, she generously offered, “Oh my God, I am so sorry! Do you need me to rub it?” Laughter and pain coexisted for Russ for quite some time. He declined the offer.

The show was very cool. The three of us sat back stage and re-orchestrated most of the songs that the Skirts played, adding a three-piece horn section to the mix. Once we arrived on stage to actually perform, there was a great moment or two where I totally enjoyed exactly where I was when I was. It was very cool.

We returned home for some boxing and a significant amount of sleep.

I got a phone call about a get-together with several folks with whom I have worked very closely for some time. I would have made plans to be there if I had known about it more than one hour before it started. So Russ, Ln, and I went to lunch. When we returned home, Ln got on a cleaning kick. One room of my house is as clean as it has been in months.

Ok, gotta run. I’m going for a jog, but I will be back shortly.

*I did not have to look up how this was spelled. Spelling "Albuquerque" is by far my strongest talent.
**Nothing in this paragraph is true. The rain compelled two members of the threesome not to even bother getting out of bed.