Posts Tagged ‘Missoula’

On Charity

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Tonight Carrie and I went to a Reddit Board Game Night on Capitol Hill. Apparently there was a power outage, so the place it was going to be at, B&O Espresso, was closed for the evening. The gaming got moved to Caffé Vita at the last minute, so it was a tinier, more intimate crowd. Unfortunately, we’d already parked once and it was Capitol Hill, Hades of Parking, so we had to walk a fair distance to get to the coffee shop. It was worth it, though — we played Elixer and Cosmic Encounter, and everybody had a blast.

Things wrapped up around 10:30 or so, and we packed up our games and took our leave. Since the venue had been moved, we had quite a ways to walk to our car (don’t get me started on the horrendous parking in Capitol Hill; we’d be here all night!). A few blocks down Pike we were stopped by a disheveled-looking young woman. She looked about twenty to twenty-five years of age.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said. “My car is out of gas and my purse was stolen, and I need to get back to Bellevue. Could you give me a few dollars for gas money?”

I’d heard about this type of scam before. The best grifts depend on either greed or compassion, two opposite sides of the same shiny coin. What cold and indifferent monster wouldn’t want to help out in this situation? We’ve all run out of gas or nervously eyed the needle hovering over the “E”, so it’s a common enough vector for attack. You simply play on the victim’s own fear. Throw in the fact that you don’t have the money to buy a couple of gallons, and you can play on the victim’s sympathies, too. Who could resist such a sob story?

Well, it turns out I can. One of the first things I developed after moving into Seattle was a calloused sense of sympathy for people asking for money on the street. When you work downtown it’s not really a choice, unless you want to give cash for dubious causes every single day. This was especially true for me, as I got on my bus at Third and James, which was absolutely crawling with folk asking for handouts. I want to emphasize that I’m only unyielding to those who ask me for money and money alone. I’m just too skeptical to believe that you need a few bucks for the bus, or to buy some food. In fact, this skepticism led me to my stock response for such inquiries. “I don’t carry cash,” I say (I don’t), “but I can buy you what you need.” If they’re asking for money for food, I’ll offer to buy them a sandwich. If they want money for bus fare, I offer to swipe my Orca Card for them on the bus of their choice. Every time I’ve been approached downtown this way and I’ve offered to buy my solicitor what they need, they’ve turned me down.

So at this point I told this poor young woman that I didn’t have any cash, but I could buy her gas. If you are being scammed and things go this way, the grifter usually makes an excuse and bails out quickly, if not gracefully. But not this particular woman. “I’ll need to go get some gas cans from my friend,” she told us. This to me seems to be either her exit line or her please-don’t-inconvenience-me-I’m-already-out-of-gas line, but before we could start down either path she ran off across the street and disappeared into the shadows of the night growing from the QFC. Carrie and I waited around a while, board game boxes rumbling as we shifted them in our hands. We waited partially out of politeness and partially out of genuine concern. Carrie was becoming nervous that she was getting her “friend”, a 6-foot-3 rogue with an anchor tattoo, an eye patch, and grapefruit-sized biceps. Afterwards she told me that she was facing the opposite direction to me to get my back. It makes me feel better to know I wasn’t the only skeptical person involved.

[I’d like to make a digression and tell a related story from many years ago, right after Carrie and I started dating. We were crossing the footbridge from campus in Missoula to the Albertson’s on Broadway. This bridge was a notorious hangout for vagrants and vagabonds. As we stepped off the bridge, a man approached on a low-riding bicycle. He swerved from side to side in loping, teetering undulations. Each unsure turn brought him closer and closer to one of the concrete barriers lining either side of the bridge’s approach until with a sickrning thud he crashed into one and collapsed in a heap, bike on top. Carrie wanted to stop and help but I was convinced it was some sort of scheme and wanted to leave him there. It’s a good thing I listened and we stopped; he was really hurt. We called an ambulance and Carrie with her CNA training tended to his wounds. I had been certain that it was something they cooked up to elicit sympathy. I’m an optimist on paper but am pretty cynical when it comes to human interaction. Luckily he got the attention he needed, but it turned out he had Hepatitis C, so that was a little scary.]

After a short delay the young woman came running back with a gas can in each hand. She’d either called my bluff or she really needed the help. I was a little shocked because I didn’t expect to see her again. She met up with us on the corner, the light to cross the street the other way was mercifully short, and we headed to the Shell station to fill what she had brought. They must have been 1.5 – 2 gallon cans, because as I was filling them she told me to only put four dollars’ worth of gas into each can (which honestly is enough to get you across Lake Washington and back home in Bellevue). She thanked us two or three times as the cans were filling, then as I handed them to her. With some final words of gratitude she waked off with her eight dollars’ worth of gasoline, presumably to her exhausted car, and we turned back north on Broadway, the way we’d been going. It hadn’t taken more than five minutes.

Now usually I would have been feeling pretty good about all this. I’ve convinced myself that she really did need it. Maybe her purse wasn’t stolen, maybe she was destitute, or maybe she had misplaced it. Maybe she wasn’t trying to get back to Bellevue and she just needed it to get to work in the morning (or school, or wherever). But I’m pretty sure she wasn’t after a couple gallons of free gas. What would she do, re-sell it? Who would buy that? Weighing what I know, it looked as if we’d helped someone in need.

The only problem is that I lied. I was carrying cash. Enough of it in varying bills to give her what she needed, to the dollar. Now I’m usually a proponent of telling the truth, even if it’s unpleasant. But I always lie about not having cash whenever I offer my stock response to requests on the street. I could have a hundred dollars in my wallet, or a single one dollar bill. I’ll always say I don’t have any and offer to buy what they need. I started thinking about this as we walked the half-mile or so to where we’d parked our car. I can only offer one defense: my concern for our safety. After all, we may have grown up in Montana but we still know better than to blindly dig cash out of our wallets for anybody who asks. Things turned out okay, regardless. If I’d given her cash and she was a meth head then it wouldn’t have done any good. I can think of very few detrimental things she could do with the gas (okay, I suppose that’s not true. She could use it to burn down a building, for example). It’s not like she could have fenced at most three dollars’ worth of gasoline, though.

This is what it takes. In the best case, we helped a hapless if irresponsible woman get back home. In the worst case, we helped her drive to that next party. Either way I’m okay with it. When another human being asks, you’ve just got to help, whatever way you can.

Ben Folds: Missoula, MT

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Holy cow! What a show. The opening act was awesome, and the piano man himself did not disappoint. Carrie and I bought some ear plugs (after the hearing damage we got from the Dragonforce concert in the spring), but we didn’t even need them, which was a nice change. I’m getting old enough that I can’t afford to damage my hearing anymore if I want to continue to make and enjoy music. My dad and my sister went to the concert in Bellingham two days before we did, so we kind of knew what to expect, but it was still an awesome time. They also missed out on the opening act — Kate Miller-Heidke, who blew us away, and whose album is currently sitting pretty in Australia.

The only disappointment I felt was after it was over, and I realized he would not be playing “Fred Jones, Part II.” That’s another beautiful song I wanted to hear.

The opening act was amazing. It was just Kate and her husband, Keir Nuttall. We bought their CD, but it definitely had a fuller sound than the live act. Their performance had a great feeling of intimacy: just a guy with a guitar and a gal singing. And what a voice! She did all sorts of operatic vocal acrobatics. There’s a little bit of that on the album, but in concert you could definitely tell that she’s had some classical training. The intimacy was mostly missing from the CD, but I need to give it a few more listens to evaluate it fully. It’s a fun listen and I’m not saying I dislike it, just that the contrast between the live performance and the studio recording are quite marked and unexpected.


These kind of suck, because the lighting was bad, I didn’t want to use the flash that much, and I didn’t want to get closer to the stage.


  1. Free Coffee
  2. Annie Waits
  3. Sentimental Guy
  4. Eddit Walker
  5. Effington — “This song was written on a stage in Normal, Illinois. That’s why it pretty much has one chord.”
  6. Jesusland
  7. The Luckiest — This song was by special request from someone else, and I really enjoyed it because it’s my and Carrie’s wedding song.
  8. Song for the Dumped — Ben told the story of how he learned a complicated-sounding lick at the piano when he was a kid, and was trying to work it into a song. On the tour van, he was working on “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces” when Darren Jessee asked to see it, said it was rubbish, and scribbled out the lyrics to “Song for the Dumped”, which Ben was able to integrate the piano lick into.
  9. Gone
  10. Picture Window — One of the two Nick Hornby collaborations he played.
  11. Levi Johnston’s Blues — After this one, he was going to play another one, but decided it wasn’t ready, said the song “wasn’t under copyright yet”, and tossed the sheet of paper (presumably with the lyrics) into the audience.
  12. You Don’t Know Me — Kate Miller-Heidke performed Regina Spektor’s part, and Keir Nuttall accompanied on acoustic guitar. She added a nice, operatic touch to the part.
  13. Kate
  14. Still Fighting It
  15. You to Thank
  16. Landed
  17. Dr. Yang — Ben said that some people describe this song as “snarky.” That’s a word he prefer to leave the lexicon. Along with “OMG.” After this song, he asked if there was any song that anyone wanted to hear, and of course everybody shouted out a different name.
  18. Hiro’s Song — He went to get a Cajón for this one, which he played instead of the piano.
  19. Zak and Sara
  20. Bitches Ain’t Shit — He had a guy from the audience come up to sing the second verse. He first tried to get the audience to sing it, but that didn’t work out.
  21. Army — We kind of failed at the horn part.
  22. Rock This Bitch — Elaborations on the theme of a girl named Suzy who had a birthday.
  23. Gracie
  24. Not the Same — With some awesome conducting for the ‘drunken chorus.’
  25. And of course, the obligatory encore break…
  26. Evaporated — I was psyched for this one, as I think it’s very beautiful. The a capella version is also pretty.
  27. Rockin’ the Suburbs

I shook hands with the next President of the United States

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Went to the Missoula Obama rally at the University today. Lots of people getting signatures in the line, which stretched at least as far back as the Music Building, and probably much farther than that.

What can I say? The rally was bitchin’. There was a bit too much buildup, but it was worth it. Obama is just as eloquent a speaker as he’s made out to be. He couldn’t have picked a better town, since we tend to lean so far to the left here. He managed to tailor his speech to Montana without it feeling forced. Probably the biggest reaction he got was when he mentioned that no matter what, George W. Bush would not be on the ballot here. We Missoulians really, really don’t like the guy.

Now, I’d prefer someone like Gravel as president, but he obviously won’t be (he’s kind of behind in the delegate count). I consider myself a libertarian, but I lean to the left, so that’s where I tend to vote. And I’d rather not see McCain in office, because I’ve become rather fond of my civil liberties (those I have left, that is), and it’s pretty clear he’s just a Business as Usual type of guy.

As far as the Democrats go, Hillary’s just dragging her heels along the slow path to irrelevance. Every day she finds a new way to prove that she’ll do or say anything to become president. When you get down to it, it all comes down to attitude. They have fairly similar politics. Obama’s is one of support, of doing something for the American people. Hillary’s, on the other hand, is one of ambition, of doing anything to become the first woman president.

Plus, I really don’t want to see our line of political succession go Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. Then, Jeb Bush could run, and after him, Chelsea! Blahh 😛

Missoula Sold Its Soul (For Adult Contemporary)

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Well, the Rolling Stones are finally gone, having sucked the life out of our great city Wednesday night. They turned our quiet little campus into a madhouse of 40-somethings looking to recapture that ineffable feeling of youth and 18-somethings screaming “I can’t get no sa-tis-fac-shun!” out of their dorm rooms and reminding those 40-somethings that, hey, it’s okay to be old. Everybody was grabbing for a piece of the pie, and nobody’s hands were greedier than our very own University. It’s not enough to wash our credibility down the drain by signing an exclusive contract with ‘Killer’ Coke, they now sell our campus down the drain, too, just so some geriatric old fucks can waltz in here, play a few songs they penned 40 years ago, and make off with all our money and most of our pride, to boot.

From what I can tell from the reviews I’ve read, the Stones managed to do what everyone expected — they played a lot of hits, one or two new songs to remind us that yes, they’re still making records, and fire off a lot of fireworks to distract us. From what? From the maddening realization that the Stones hadn’t written a song that was actually relevent in two score years. It was all part of the show, the six story stage, the roaring spotlights, the old chestnuts, not new to anybody’s ears in decades, and we all suspended disbelief. Where the hell was the emotion? Somehow, these dangerous boys, who had the gall to declare their Sympathy for the Devil, were nothing short of… familiar. It’s hard to seem dangerous when half your audience is made up of people who have to be up at 7:30 A.M. so they can drop their kids off at school.

The emotion died a long time ago, along with the danger. It’s been replaced with glitz, with 70 tractor trailers and a six-story stage. It’s been replaced with 20,000 screaming fans, not screaming because they might share a moment with Mick or Keef, but screaming for the sake of… screaming. Real rock ‘n roll died a long time ago, certainly before I was born, and even the fringes — punk rock and death metal, for example — are gasping for air. It’s not rebellious anymore. It’s packaged. It’s merchandised. It’s $80 tickets. It’s 70 tractor trailers. It’s withered old farts, appealing to something they helped create, but not letting sleeping dogs lie, making a joke of the very thing they helped to create.


Wednesday, September 17th, 2003
Current Listening:
Tom petty: “King’s Highway”
Lover I await the day

Good fortune comes our way

And we’ll ride down

The king’s highway

Whew! I just went for a bike ride in the rain. There’s nothing like the feeling of being soaked. When I ride my bike I listen to CDs and sing along. I must’ve looked quite a sight to passersby: heavy winter coat, headphones, fogged-up glasses, and singing. Oh, well — this is Missoula, for Christ’s sake!

Last night Tony and Shawnie Transue came up from the valley and we watched Liar, Liar in Brooke’s room. Jim Carrey does best, I think, when he’s not making rubber of his face. This film shows both his ‘funny face’ and his ‘actor’ side, and it’s clear which is more entertaining. Yes, he can stretch his face into ungodly configurations, but he can also act sincerely when he wants.

Dinner in the Park

Thursday, September 11th, 2003
Cool Link: The Flat Earth Society

God, class was boring today. Even Astronomy. Poetry was okay; we workshopped poems and it was somewhat fun, but we didn’t workshop mine!

Current Listening:
Mineral: “LoveLetterTypwriter”
Summer unfolded

like a tapestry

And you were there

as you have always been

There glowing where

the sky meets with the trees

Air softly crowing,

singing fears to sleep

So after dinner we (we being John, Aaron, Carrie, and me) went to the “Dinner in the Park” thingie. The last one of the year. It was smoke-free, but it was raining! I guess good weather and these thingies just don’t mix. Guess who we saw? Sarah, who had just moved up today. Nifty! I invited her to Drew’s Margarita Monday next week, we’ll see if she calls or was just humoring me.

Then we played some mad Foosball.

My CD is almost mixed!


Monday, September 1st, 2003

Well, I woke up at 11:00 today. Ate lunch, then John called and we went to Best Buy, and Super Wall-Mart™®©, and Target, and Rockin’ Rudies, and some kitchen sink store. All so he could buy two lousy Ethernet cables. We went shopping around to about fifty billion stores for the cheapest cables. And you know the sad part? The Book Store — which John assumed would have the highest degree of price-gouging — had the cheapest cables! The mind reels.

I managed to get some posters for my walls, though — a Beatles poster and a Van Gogh print of flowers for my bulletin board. My room is looking much homier now.

We ate in the Food Zoo and ran into A.J. from Billings. This is the guy who was kind enough to let John, Shawn and me stay at his house when we went to the Warped Tour last year. And we hadn’t even asked. Shawn got stoned and thought he’d written A.J. an e-mail, which makes no sense, since he would have been sober when the response came!

Later tonight Aaron, John and I went to Drew Wilson’s apartment. We watched I Spy, which was pretty cool. It’s like everybody knows everybody here, though. We keep bumping into people! Finally, we caught up with Brooke, which means she isn’t dead as we had feared.

So I’m gonna do some reading and hit the hay. I’m freakin’ tired. And my roomie’s asleep, so I can’t crank the tunes. Peace.


Friday, April 11th, 2003

Super-Long Special Small Font Movie Quote of the Update:

Frodo: I can’t do this Sam!

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back — only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo and it’s worth fighting for.

— The Two Towers (Indirectly J.R.R. Tolkien)

Throughout the war, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf has been keeping me in stitches with his announcement about the advance of American troops (go to Something Awful to see what I mean). But this levity got me to thinking. Now, obviously, our government wouldn’t lie to us; and there’s no way that the media isn’t getting at some of the truth. But how do we know that what they’re telling us is the truth? After all, they’re still clinging to the pretense of ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ Anyway, something serious.

I got mega-drums done, including (finally) drums for “Knockout.” That song has some bar of 6/4 time! Wow! I should actually have some demos for the band by the end of the weekend.

I wrote a poem comparing somebody establishing in his or her niche to a Hobbit. It’s long, but not too long. I think Mom will like it; she’s a big Tolkien buff. I’m thinking of creating a ‘band’ to showcase my Poppier music (‘poppier’ is so close, keyboard-wise, to ‘poopier’):

  1. Eye Candy
  2. Knockout
  3. Old People Scare Me
  4. Not My World
  5. Laura
  6. Am I Immature?
  7. Mama Said Knock You Out
  8. Scene

And I could write more. I dunno. I’m still toying with the idea. Ideally, NWI would learn almost all of them.

Man, it’s damn nice here, weather-wise. Warm, light later. The Oval is, as someone on my floor said, like a resort. I’ve been out to play my guitar several times. I hope it lasts and we don’t get a friggin’ snowstorm.

OK. It’s bedtime. I’ve been oversleeping and missing waaay too many early-morning classes lately.



Sunday, February 2nd, 2003

Al Gore on Saturday Night Live. Somehow, it didn’t improve his image much. Now, instead of seeing him as a stiff, emotionless politician (a “Gorebot”, as Tom Tomorrow took to calling him), I see him as a stiff, emotionless politician who once appeared on a sketch show that has seen better days.

I am, of course, at my parents’ house, a fact one can infer from my having seen television. The TV I brought to my dorm room quit soon after the State of the Union address, which doesn’t bother me much. That’s also why I wrote nothing here yesterday. Last night I stayed over at Shawn’s house. We rented This is Spinal Tap, a movie which neither Shawn nor Aaron found as funny as I did.

Friday’s classes came and went, with only two noticeable incidents. The first was in History of Rock ‘n Roll, when professor Leadbetter played some different early blues songs. I got this urge to go back to my room and hammer some of my own out on the guitar. And I did. Later, in my British Lit class, I wrote a couple of poems which may or may not make it onto my main website. I had to walk to downtown Missoula because my bike is still here at my parents’ house, but the stroll was pleasant. The weather was a bit drizzly and the fog clinging to the air almost made the usually dingy Missoula streets almost pretty. Even the turbid Clark Fork was something to look at as countless drops of rain speckled its smooth surface.

I finished reading “Apt Pupil”, a story which I found quite disgusting. Now I’ve started in on “The Body”, which in the popular mass-media world goes by the movie title Stand By Me. Is there anything Stephen King has written which hasn’t been made into a movie?

Tomorrow, I have to write an AIS for Brenner’s class, an assignment which tickles me pink. For the first time, I am looking forward to something in my college classes. I looked forward to some stuff in my acting class, but I’ve considered that more of a diversion than a bona fide course. I need to e-mail my Senior English teacher, Mr. Kane, about Brenner. Shawn tells me that Kane had Brenner and I’m not at all surprised.

It’s a bitch about the Challenger. But you know what really pisses me off? The fact that nobody cared a donkey’s ass about the space program until a shuttle blew up.

Anyway, something important might happen tomorrow. I’ve done my best to steel myself, but there really is no speech for me to write, I guess. I have a feeling I know of what’s going to happen. I can hope against it, but I have to face overwhelming facts.

That’s all for now. Mr. King’s prose calls.

About Me

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003

I have stepped into the miraculous world of online blogging. Hooray! I have chosen to do this because while I still have a ‘real’ diary/journal/log, I find that typing is much easier on my hands. So everything that isn’t too private will go here, for all eyes (or, to be realistic, no eyes) to see.

A little about myself? I’m 19 and a freshman at the University of Montana in Missoula. I graduated from Corvallis High School, which actually furnished a decent education for being in the middle of nowhere. My biggest accomplishment there was probably winning fourth place in the state at the ABC speech meet for Serious Duo. I don’t fancy myself talent as an actor at all, so it was quite surprising. Just a few days ago I learned that my partner from last year and the singer from my band got first place in the state for Humorous Duo, so I’m psyched for them. I’m majoring in English Teaching, with a minor in Paying Off Debts For Life. I mean drama. A minor in drama. I’m going into teaching because I love being around kids. They seem so free, so full of life, and so innocent that it seems nuts not to do something to try and light a fire within their minds. I’ve always liked kids (not in a Pete Townsend type way), and seeing a group of them at play (on a playground somewhere) always brings a smile to my face. Being a teacher will mean that I will never be able to buy the finer things in life, but that doesn’t bother me.

I was born and raised in Walla Walla, Washington, a city infamous as the ‘Warner Brothers Funny-Name City.’ What I remember most about Walla Walla was the heat: clinging to your very skin, cloying, overwhelming. My childhood was very much one of the late eighties/early nineties: moonwalks, and M.C. Hammer, and Nintendo. In 1993, shortly after the birth of my sister, we moved to Billings. Billings was large, stinky, and somewhat unfriendly. Two years later we moved to Corvallis, where I finished middle school and high school. Corvallis is small, friendly, a tad boring at times, and beautiful. I met many interesting people there, including all of my bandmates, my closest adult friend (who also happened to be my Speech teacher), and other people who I will carry with me for life. Missoula (my current hometown) shares some of that beauty, glimpsed above the buildings in the mountains, so I really don’t feel out of place here. The only thing to miss about my hometown (which is only an hour away) is the people.

They say I’m pretty smart, and I will admit that I tend to agree with them. I was singled out in elementary school as ‘gifted and talented’, for whatever that’s worth. I’m not going to engage in anything as masturbatory as posting my IQ or SAT scores, and I promise that this will be the extent of my ‘bragging.’

I play guitar in a band, Nerds With Instruments, which is unknown even in the rather thightly-knit Montana punk rock scene. I fancy myself a decent writer. I dabble in a lot of other hobbies, including programming, photography (usually when I can get my hands on my Dad’s digital camera, which is a lot cheaper than film), and recording music. My favorite hobby, I must confess, is to frequently split infintives.

Now that exposition is out of the way, I will get into my day. I woke up at 9:00, an hour before my History of Rock ‘n Roll class. This class is interesting. Unfortunately, its format (three exams make up the total grade) is the easiest one for me to skip, but I won’t want to skip it. Bottom line? I will not be skipping ten class periods like I did in Native American studies last semester. Today, we went over the defining characteristics of Rock ‘n Roll. I still need to get a copy of the book; tomorrow I’ll check the UC Bookstore.

An hour after that class ended I have American Lit. This class reminds me of my high school Senior English class, mostly because of the similarities between the instructors. I was startled today when everyone started packing up to leave, because I hadn’t looked at my watch once while sitting through that class. The same thing happened in my Senior English class. I’ll have to either ask Professor Brenner if he remembers a student from Butte or ask Mr. Kane if he was a student of Brenner’s.

Then I had a rather boring British Lit class. Almost the polar opposite of American Lit. It’s startling to see the dichotomy between these two courses. One is dynamic, and chatty, and interesting; the other, static, silent, and boring.

After classes I fiddled around with my guitar. I finished reading Insomnia by Stephen King, and started in on my Psych asssignment. I still need to finish that before the end of the night. Then I went to dinner. Thank God Missoula is such a liberal city. The Food Zoo (the place in which I’m forced to eat) has a nice selection of vegetarian foods, so I don’t have to fill up on French Fries and salad. A nice piece of cake rounded out my one meal of the day. Although my parents are concerned because I only have one repast a day, I am not. I eat a big meal, and I’m kind of big anyway.

After dinner I settled down to watch Jeopardy on the TV I brought up from home, but the TV (an old Sony which has seen bitter days) blitzed out on me. This means that I have to hook my rather crude antenna up to my VCR (which will not release its vicelike grip on my Star Wars: A New Hope tape) to get any TV. Not that I watch much television. Jeopardy, Seinfeld, and the News: these are the only shows I watch up here. Back home, I can see M.A.S.H. and Spin City on my parents’ fancy satellite dish, but here I only get broadcast shows. With no TV, I took a four-hour nap, and woke up to start this blog.

I have a personal homepage, where you can sample my writing and other things about me. I hope to get some of my photography up there someday. It is, I confess, an exercise in vanity, but it’s probably the only vain thing I do. Click Here.