Wednesday, March 31, 2010

high school memories, volume 1 (?)

It doesn't make me feel old that I've almost been out of high school for 10 years, but it DOES make me feel weird knowing I'm almost thirrrrrrrty. Sometimes I don't feel bad because we live in different times than ten and/or twenty years ago. More people are getting married and having children in their late 20s and 30s. Sometimes people get their 'big break' or 'the one thing they've been asking for in a long time' while they're in their 30s. But like I said, its a different America now thanks to a different economy.

Probably my biggest highlight in high school came when I was in the Theatre Arts play where I made the whole school laugh. It made me feel popular for a short time, but that was it. I took a Theatre class with Mrs. Motley, hoping I get at least more for my credit and get a little experience. It was fun as me and my classmates wrote plays, organized them and acted in them. We put on a performance for our families, and in front of every class period at the school. One of my favorite teachers, Todd Minichello, even made the comment that I should go into acting one of these days. I still can't believe it was 10 years ago next month that this all happened. Sometimes I wonder where did these years go. I also wonder what stopped me from acting?

Those that know me well know that I went into radio that same year at Lewis & Clark college. To me, that was a 'substitute'. By the time I made it into SIUE 3 years later, I took a written Theatre class, and from then (mostly thanks to the professor) I totally hated it. But I later changed my mind and took an acting class, which was fun. If acting never worked out for me, I could always go into writing of any sort. I've been drumming up ideas for a screenplay I thought of since August. It's a chick-flick that even guys will praise. The reason I say that is it points out stereotypes and moods of some of today's modern young women: they want to get married because they feel life is too short, among other things. More coming soon!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

rockin' in the StL!

Last night I got to see music legend Chuck Berry perform at the Pageant! It was my second time seeing him live. He's a legend and rock forefather in his own right, but I was a bit disappointed with what I saw last night. It was only $30 to see him, but it seemed that he wasn't on stage that long (almost an hour) and he didn't even say goodbye. He left the stage, but his son had to stall for him as we thought he was coming back for one more song. Yeah I know, he's in his 80s. But he still played guitar 'like a ring in a bell' and amazingly, he sang a song that he is known not to play live: 'My Ding-a-Ling', which was a possible tribute to our 'black president' (it was Chuck's only #1 Pop hit). He sang most of his well-known hits, surprisingly not his first hit song, 'Maybellene'. Yeah, I know, he's probably performed it 1000s of times, but still. I'm planning on donating money to the upcoming statue that is erected of Mr. Berry, which will be put somewhere on the Delmar loop.

I hope you can stand another Chuck Berry story: the rock legend is known to frequent local St. Louis casinos (not just performing at them, but gambling at them too). On Presidents Day my parents and my grandma took the day off to go to 'the boat'. My dad spotted Mr. Berry in the restroom but of course, minded his own biz. Later on, Chuck was gambling about 25 ft. away from my g-ma and my mom, as my mom whispered 'That's Chuck Berry...'. My grandma actually wanted to go over and talk to him, but my mom rejected, saying he should be left alone and it might cause embarrassment. A few minutes later, my mom gets up for a drink, and the next thing you know, my grandma is chatting with Chuck Berry. I wasn't there, so I'm not sure how the conversation went. From what I hear, he was glad to hear from an older fan whose 'kids and grandkids had all of his records'. My mom was in the state of red-faced embarrassment, but my grandma later quipped, 'He's probably used to it...'. lol

Last week, I got to meet 2 members of the 60s/70s musical group The 5th Dimension. Who are they? The group, whose music is known as 'mixed champagne soul', had dozens of hits on the Pop chart in the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Their most famous songs include 'Wedding Bell Blues', 'Stoned Soul Picnic' and the theme from the musical Hair, 'Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In'. Three out of five of the groups members were originally from St. Louis. For that reason, they were honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Ron Townson (deceased), Billy Davis Jr. and Lamont McLemore got their musical start in the St.L before moving to California and joining forces with Marilyn McCoo and Florence LaRue. Davis married McCoo and had a very successful singing partnership afterwards in their career. When I was little, my mom used to play the 5th Dimension's Greatest Hits lp around the house while she was cleaning and I knew all of their hits. So it was quite a thrill to be at the induction ceremony and on top of that, meeting Davis and McLemore. Sadly, hardly anyone in my generation has heard of the 5th Dimension, or probably knowing maybe just one of their songs. I blame it on fazing out oldies radio formats. Pictures of the event are here.

Me and Billy Davis Jr.Me and Lamont McLemore

health care March

Wow, I used to normally blog on a great basis but not these days. I'd like to, don't get me wrong; and I haven't lost interest. I just have a weird schedule when it comes to sleep and work and being on the web.

Some things have been going on around here. A week ago today, a somewhat 'historic' health-care bill was passed in Congress. It was both praised and damned, depending on what side of the spectrum you're on. I was on the opposing side, as I thought that none of the 435 Reps ever took the time to read it, as they were bullied into voting for it. I'm actually shocked that it was a very divided vote, with the most at 219. I'm glad my Congressman, John Shimkus, voted against it, but I don't like the fact that the other Southern Illinoisan congressman, Jerry Costello, was for it, then was against it, and then it was rumored that he was bribed into supporting it. I don't know the whole story, but either way he was FOR IT. I could go on and on about why I don't support Obama-care (as it is called), but I'll put it short and sweet: its mostly because there will be some freedoms taken away, and it will pretty much be a threat to small businesses who won't be able to afford this. I also believe that 40% of this nation's greatest doctors will quit and most of today's aspiring young doctors will jump ship and choose another profession. I doubt if I can name one person (besides Pelosi) who has actually read all 2000 pages of the bill. Regretfully, I haven't done my part in participating in any tea parties. But I know there's still time in the future. Like many others, I will do what I can to make sure all the Dems that actually voted for this bill will get kicked out of Congress in November. And on a side note, I plan to volunteer for my friend Jason Plummer, who is running for Lieutenant Governor in Illinois (R).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

has it really been 5 years?!

A few years ago, or on this very day (March 3, 2005), I was introduced to something that would change my life from then to today. What was it? Facebook. I'd like to say this was the first time I've really been involved in online social networking. I can't remember how long its been since I was on, even though I was hardly involved at all on there.

Facebook started in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and a few others at Harvard. The craze rapidly spread, thanks to word of mouth. Most so-called major universities were plugged into Facebook, and on March 1 of 2005, SIUE (Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville) became one of the latest schools put on Facebook. I had never heard of it until two days later. I guess I was hiding under a rock, I don't know (lol). I remember being in a computer lab that day, bored outta my mind and this one girl in my drawing class sits next to me and shows me this cool website. At first, I thought she was trying to tell me she was on a dating site. I saw her photo and she put her personal information on the page. Yeah, definitely trying to hook up with someone, right? But she explained she already had a boyfriend, and she wasn't trying to look for any guys. She just wanted to meet more people, and catch up to people. She gave me a quick tour of Facebook, and minutes later, I used my SIUE webmail account and got a profile on there. I still do have one on there.

As mentioned earlier, this opened up a new world for me. I was convinced that this was a true stalkers' paradise. Now instead of asking a girl if she was single, I could easily look at her profile. I could also see who she knows that I know. Simple, right? Too good to be true. Nope. The writing was now on the wall. Like many others, I became addicted to Facebook and I started 'friending' people in my classes. I enjoyed getting to know them better, as time went on. Times have really changed since 5 years ago. I remember when I first friended some of my classmates, they were looking for 'random play' and 'relationships'. Now most of these people are married. I still haven't found a success story about a couple I know that has married from being met on Facebook.

A 'friend' was redefined. It could now be someone you never met in person. I currently have 295 Facebook friends. About a dozen of those people I have never talked to in person. But I still think they're aight (lol). I'm pretty comfortable with 295, although I would like to meet more people. I would be lying to you if I told you I knew over, say, 700 people. I know a lot of people who have super-full friends lists. And I have no clue how or why. I don't 'friend' any of my co-workers anymore, unless they strike first. Both of my 'bosses' are on here, but I choose not to be friends with them just because.

I like to keep my profile short and sweet, and I don't put hardly any personal information, unless someone wants to know. We all do stupid things, but I don't advertise them here on social networking sites. After all, no one really needs to know what I do anyway. I'm shocked that people put beer parties on there as well as lingerie fashion shows of themselves (hey, not that I'm complaining (hee hee)...), but still, if they were looking for a better career or become an elected official....yeah, that would hurt. I do have a picture of myself getting arrested by the police, but I noted that the picture was staged, as I was doing an acting job. (I used video editing software to create a photo still)

I was hooked on myspace for a while, as I joined that site a few months later. Remember, Facebook wasn't open to EVERYONE at one time. It was good timing for the socialnet site and it deservedly became the #1 online social networking site today. I'm a bit disappointed that I saw Myspace fall before my eyes, but I could be saying the same thing about Facebook someday.