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August 24, 2003


Even though my eyes were closed, I remember the whole thing as though I had been looking on from the ceiling, in the farthest corner of the room from the door.

Don had just shut his eyes and danced up the aisle, turned at the desk, and shot right to the doorway. I wasn't very good at most of the games we played, but I didn't see what could be so hard about this. I was eager to try.

I didn't understand Don's dance until sometime after I was in the hospital. I didn't figure that the whirling arms and legs were helping him find where the desks were, and that jumping around like he was doing the boogaloo kept his legs apart and limber, more stable in case he started to trip. Maybe he didn't figure this either -- maybe he just closed his eyes and made it to the door without looking.

I closed my eyes and started out.

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August 03, 2003

Buried Alive

When I first awoke, I was buried alive inside my mother. I kicked and pushed, and eventually a rescue team of doctors and nurses released me.

But then, for the next several years, I was buried alive in my parents; pretty much my whole world was everything they said and did. Then a rescue team of teachers released me.

But then, for the next several years, I was buried alive with a bunch of other kids in a school house; pretty much my whole world was everything the teachers said and did. One or two tried to rescue us via underground explorations, but the weight of the school house always crushed our escape tunnels.

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August 01, 2003

Harbor Master

When I was 12, they made me the yacht club's Harbor Master: keep track of boats from other clubs tying up to our piers; collect a little rent; extend the glad hand. I have no idea why they let me do this...p'bly because I was hanging around so much, looking so eager to do something, being a pain in the ass ;-)

One of the worst things about being smart is how much bigger it makes your stupidity look. This was certainly my summer for being "smart".... From the scant records that accompanied the Harbor Master's cashbox, it was obvious that the position had been ignored for a couple of years. The tiny budget had apparently been spent at the bar, and there had obviously been no attempt to systematically collect slip fees. So, time to whip things into shape....

Collecting fees was fun -- I got to meet every boat that came in, talk to the skippers, ogle the gear (and any young daughters ;-), and act as first-tier tour guide to folks who had never visited before. For big events -- regattas of 50 or more boats, for instance -- I started a registry, and made up a dopey "rule" that no one could use the bar until their boat had "reported" (i.e. paid a slip fee) to the Harbor Master. It became a cute little thing -- the bartender would point new arrivals to an old wooden keg at the end of the bar, where they dropped in their money and signed the register. Later, I would visit the boat with a "Hello" and a simple safety look-see, and check their mooring.

The regattas were so cool... due to not enough piers, we often had to raft boats out from the main breakwall in front of the club. For some events this meant rafting people six or seven boats out, which was a total headache in terms of getting boats in and out. But the lights at night, the laughter, the music, the rhythms of people crossing bows to get from ship to shore to ship... that was magical.

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June 27, 2003

Postmodern Genie Joke

We were hosting a lecture by KRS One. Since the school held so few events targeted to our AfroAmerican pouplation, pent-up demand filled the house. A full house, 450 seats or so. Maybe 75 white kids were there; half of them were just filling a requirement from some course or another; they tended to sit in the back. It was a lively house, and we had a feeling this was going to be a good event.

As usual, we had three mics ready: a Shure M57, a Beta58, and a wireless lavalier. We had brought in an outboard EQ, set up a good monitor, and the mix was playing well...folks seemed to like the contrast of Macolm Mclaren and NWA ;-)

Showtime approached...20 minutes to curtain. No KRS One. At 10 minutes to curtain, we gt call to come down to the Green Room.

Mr. Manager was impressive -- the food wasn't right, the light wasn't right, room security didn't seem tight enough, he wanted more water at the lectern. The subject of start time never had a chance to even draw a breath...he was good.

I talked to kris; he liked the Beta. He needed to change and warm up, and that was gonna take 20 minutes. Could I keep the house happy until then?

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June 24, 2003


So, I wanted to try out the cgi-ness of my host, and thought it might be fun to get a blog configured.... Movabletype seemed to be the "best," but it was a "beast" to install (and a bit more complex in its features than I needed for just playin' around. Then some folks at MacCentral turned me on to Blosxom, a compact-yet-powerful blog script that's a breeze to install.

Having passed the "Hello, World" point of getting Blosxom running, it's time for some content.... Might as well take one more stab at Robert's "Plato Paper" -- might even get Robert to turn on a computer ;-)

The Plato Paper was meant to be a re-telling of my work with The Phaedrus during my first section of Robert's Argument and Analysis class at Grand Valley's School of Communications. IIRC, I received an A- in the class in exchange for a pledge to write The Plato Paper. Robert stills asks for the paper when i see him, even after all these years.... Which edition do you want, Robert?

Umm... before I dive into this whole subject of The Plato Paper, we should maybe get to know each other a bit; a joke usually makes a good ice-breaker. Here's a story about a joke I told back in 1997 or so. at a typically snafu'd Grand Valley special event...