Archive for July, 2004

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Huzzah!

July 31, 2004

I made a second trip to the renaissance faire today. This time it was Angela and myself plus Beth, Kevin, Mariah, Chris and Kerry. I took 68 pictures, 26 of which I added to the shot recently album (basically the first half are images from this trip the rest are from last weekend’s trip).

I had a really good time, you guys, and I’m glad you all could come with us.

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Renaissance Faire

July 26, 2004

Angela, Paige, Dan and myself went to the Ren Faire yesterday with our friends Lorry, Chris, Mykl and Lynn. The weather was superb and we all had a great time. There’s a bunch of pictures up temporarily, so check them out.

Huzzah! I get to go again on Saturday!

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Naked Review

July 24, 2004

I’ve often thought about the name of a popular rock band called Barenaked Ladies. My wife likes them a lot and there’s a few BNL CDs lying around the house. I like to imagine that back before they were world-famous they must have chosen their name for pragmatic reasons; after all, you’re virtually guaranteed an audience when the words “BARE NAKED LADIES” appear on the marquee outside the hall. One wonders if patrons lured inside by these words felt cheated by the deception. Given the quality of the music BNL produce, however, I’d guess the audience felt only mildly wronged.

As if to prove my point, I noticed on my way to work the other day that a lesser-known group called “Pygmy Love Circus” is playing at a local venue. I wonder what kind of crowd you get with that on the marquee, and whether the patrons do or don’t feel cheated by whatever spectacle awaits inside.

It was with this in mind that I first looked at the cover of David Sedaris’ book Naked. A colleague at work suggested it by handing me her own copy. She also slipped me a CD of Mr. Sedaris reading aloud from another of his works at Carnegie hall. It was the CD I sampled first and I laughed so hard and so much that my face ached for an hour after it was over. I knew then that I had to read the book she had loaned me.

Naked is a collection of seventeen autobiographical essays. They are all humorous, some hysterically so. Much of the early chapters remind me of a television show that I saw a few times years ago called Malcolm in the middle. These are the chapters I like the best, as they deal with the inherent strangeness of living in a house full of other people – even if they are your own family. Sedaris continues on to write about later periods (college and after) but, while good, these aren’t quite as funny.

So how funny is it? On a scale of one to ten, Sedaris rates a Douglas Adams. He’s that funny, albeit in a different way. One other thing you should know: Sedaris is a brilliant writer. What I mean is that I sometimes paused in the middle of his narrative to reflect jealously, I wish I could write like this!

Why is the book called Naked? Is it simply a BNL-esque deception designed to lure in potential readers with a vague promise of lewdness inside? You’ll have to find out for yourself. But I’ll guarantee you one thing – it’s better than a pygmy love circus.

P.S. I am wearing clothes as I type this. I hope you do not feel decieved.

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Three Things

July 16, 2004

THREE THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

1) All non-English languages.
2) How to write a book.
3) How to do the splits when you’re not 8 years old.

THREE THINGS I’D LIKE TO LEARN.

1) A second language. Like maybe Korean.
2) How to write better.
3) To do the splits.

THREE THINGS I’M WEARING RIGHT NOW.

1) My “Bark In The Park” t-shirt that I got raising money for the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County.
2) Worn out Reebok crosstrainers that hurt my feet.
3) New Hanes boxer briefs. Black.

THREE THINGS ON MY DESK.

1) A hand exerciser.
2) A mock academy award for teaching digital video editing to kids.
3) Photos of my family and my dog.

THREE THINGS I’D LIKE TO DO BEFORE I DIE.

1) Know the names of, see, and perhaps meet my biological parents.
2) Visit the World Taekwondo Federation headquarters in Seoul Korea
3) See my children get college educations and begin careers and families of their own.

THREE WAYS TO DESCRIBE MY PERSONALITY.

1) Intense
2) Fair
3) Introspective

THREE BAD THINGS ABOUT MY PERSONALITY.

1) My desire to avoid interpersonal conflict sometimes causes me to ignore problems that really should be talked about.
2) I sometimes try to look and sound cooler and more important than I really am.
3) I sometimes act like a know-it-all.

THREE PARTS OF MY HERITAGE.

1) Jewish
2) Irish
3) English

THREE THINGS I LIKE ABOUT MY BODY.

1) My almond-shaped eyes
2) My relatively flat stomach
3) My easily tanned skin.

THREE THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOUT MY BODY.

1) Acne scars
2) The unbleachable spots on my front teeth.
3) The 20 pounds I don’t need but can’t seem to lose.

THREE THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME.

1) I was born in Los Angeles, California.
2) I studied Judo as a kid.
3) October in Wisconsin thrills me in ways that native Wisconsinites seem unable to appreciate.

THREE THINGS I SAY THE MOST.

1) “Howdy”
2) “What are you doing for lunch?”
3) “Will you read this to me?”

THREE PLACES I’D LIKE TO GO.

1) Seoul, South Korea
2) Tokyo, Japan
3) Ireland

THREE NAMES I GO BY.

1) Scott
2) Scotty
3) TheBeeWolf

THREE THINGS I WILL MAKE SACRAFICES FOR.

1) My family
2) My community
3) My world

(Thanks to crickie for passing this along.)

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Black River State Forest

July 16, 2004

blackriver.jpgWe’re back from our trip to Black River State Forest. Everyone had a good time and I took 119 pictures. Lucky you, 35 of them are up in the shot recently album. Here is a quick rundown of the details:

Who: Me, Angela, Paige, Dan and Beth; Keith, Kevin, Mariah, Gabby, Amanda and Max; Rocky, Tracie and Aubrey; Veronica, Ellen, Kait, Michael and Nelly.

Where: a group camp site at the Black River State Forest in Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

When: five days and four nights, July 11 through 15, 2004.

Activities: taking a dip in the Black River, taking a dip in Lake Arbutus, extreme volleyball ™, mountain biking, card playing, marshmallow roasting, pudgie-pie making, water balloon fighting, horsehoes…

As I said, everyone had a terrific time including myself. It was great to spend so much time with Keith and Tracie’s families, and a pleasure to meet Veronica’s for the first time. My only complaint is about the site itself. It was a mile or more to the nearest body of water, and often one had to pay to get access to it once one actually arrived at it. The grounds seemed like one big mowed field, which would be good for someone who planned to pitch 20 tents to accomodate the local Girl Scout troop, but not necessary for a family get together of our size. We would gladly have given up some space for a few shade trees. Tip: if you ever camp at the Black River State Forest, forget the group site go for the individual camp sites, they’re right on the Black River and look pretty decent.

bethfire.jpgThe forest itself was amazing, though. There’s a certain feeling you get when you’re surrounded by 67,000 acres of serious wilderness. For one thing, the place is riddled with whitetail deer. I mean you can’t swing a stick without hitting one or two of these things. Within 24 hours of arriving I’d seen eight or ten of them. The same goes for the wild turkeys. They’re literally everywhere.

I did not hear the howl of a grey wolf as I’d hoped, but I didn’t go away completely dissapointed, either. During the last night of our stay some of us were sitting around the campfire talking when suddenly we all stopped mid-sentence. A sound emanated from the woods behind us. It sounded like a woman screaming at first, then as it trailed off I could hear the telltale “woowoowoo” of a coyote. They sounded very close. Less than half a mile I’d guess. They went at it for a little while and then moved on. Logan, who had been barking his head off at everyone approaching in the darkness, merely looked up from where he lay by the fire, seemigly undisturbed. What he made of the sound I’ll never know, but for me it was the perfect ending to a terrific trip.

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Camping Trip

July 11, 2004

Doh! Talk about being a slacker. I’m about one hour from leaving on a camping trip which I haven’t even mentioned. Angela, Paige, Dan, Beth and myself are meeting up with Keith and Tracie, who are also bringing their families. We’ve got a big group camping site up in the Black River State Forest.

I’ve never been there, but I hear that it’s known for several packs of grey wolves, who moved in some time in the mid-90s. My new goal, then, is to hear the howl of a wolf. of course, since I wouldn’t know a grey wolf from a coyote from a stray dog, I’m sure to be delighted at least once during our five day, four night stay. (Speaking of howls, Logan and Ebo are coming too.)

Of course I’ll take way more pictures than anyone will care to ever see. Lucky you, I’ll probably have a few dozen up for you to see upon our return, Thursday night.

Bye!

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110 In The Shade

July 11, 2004

Dennis and BethI’m a big slacker because I said I would put this up a couple of days ago. That’s when Angela, Paige, Dan and myself saw our own dear Beth and her dad, Dennis, in Waukesha Civic Theater‘s production of 110 In The Shade. We really enjoyed it! Thanks for the tickets.

I don’t see much live theater, which is odd because I used to be really into it when I was younger. When I was in high school I was in just about every production and took every drama class. To this day, I credit my high school theater experience with my ability to speak in front of any size audience on just about any topic, even at a moment’s notice. But mostly what I remember is the wonderful comraderie of the cast and crew, and how sad it was when the show was finally over and the set striken.

I am trying to convince Paige to take a theater class in high school, but she doesn’t seem very interested. I maintain that once she realizes it’s fundamentally a medium of words (as opposed to television and movies, which are of images), then she may see the light.

Anyway, if you live in my area you should go see 110 In The Shade. It’s playing until July 25th.

UPDATE: Our dear Beth says I must also mention that Thursdays and Sundays are two-for-one days, and that if you bring your ticket stub to the Brookfield Players‘ theater in Brookfield you can get an additional two-for-one deal on their production of Sweet Charity. Go, already!