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Monday, June 27, 2005

Boys of Summer I

Final/Mid-Term exams this week will mark the end to my God-forsaken 8:00 a.m. class, giving me a reprieve from a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call and the need to drag my butt out of bed and to the gym before the sun even shows itself every morning.

With an Mp3 player soon to arrive, I have been on a downloading kick looking for the music I grew up with. The title of this entry is itself a reference to the Don Henley classic.

"I can see you/ your brown skin shining in the sun/ you've got your hair combed back/ sunglasses on, baby/ I can tell you/ my love for you will still be strong/ after the Boys of Summer have gone . . ."

My mission has been 3-fold:

1. Find as much good upbeat music from the '80s as is humanly freakin' possible.

2. Re-discover the "ole school" hip-hop I was dancing to at the age of 13. (I discovered yesterday I can still do a decent Humpty Dance and pull off a reasonable Running Man.)

3. Pull all of those Top 40 singles I didn't listen to during High School because I was too punk to admit that, damn it, Oasis was a decent band . . .

I've gone through the Top 100 charts from the 1980s. If anyone has suggestions for must-have music that might not have made the top 100 in any given year during the "Me" decade . . . please let me know. (Please, no Prince.)

Oh, and a couple of songs from 96-97 which I would suggest to anyone interested:

"Standing Outside a Broken Phonebooth with Money in Your Hands." by Primitive Radio Gods.


"Los Banditos" by the Refreshments

(for anyone unfamiliar with this overlooked gem, during high school we referred to it as the "world is full of stupid people" song.)

Oh, this reminds me . . . Primus. I need to look for some Primus. If I can just remember which of their music I liked.

. . . and I probably need to do some studying too.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Song Remains the Same

Last night about 10 I had a sudden craving for an ice cream cone and, it being a nice night, I decided to walk across the street to Sonic to procure said ice cream cone.

This Sonic has a large outdoor sitting area with several picnic tables, a small pond and waterfountain, and even a small stage where a band plays every Tuesday night. It is usually a very clean, nice place to go and enjoy a bit to eat.

But not last night. . .

When I walked up there was a guy, probably in his 20's, who could-- at best-- be described as "white trash." He sat at a picnic table sipping something out of a dirty 7-11 cup and, with his leg shaking uncontrollably, looked to be quite anxious.

I placed my order and found a table as far from him as possible, wishing I'd had enough foresight to stick my .380 in my pocket before wandering off at 10:30 at night.

While I waited, however, a brand new Ford Mustang pulled up driven by what looked to me to be a clean cut "frat boy" type white college-age kid. This sure as hell excited Mr. White Trash because he jumped to his feet and attempted to do this leisurely stroll thing to the car which looked just absolutely akward given his present state of anxiety.

So he slides into the passenger seat and Frat Boy reaches into the back and pulls out a gym bag. I am watching as he pulls out a couple small baggies, hands them to White Trash and, in return, White Trash hands him a few folded up bills.

He was in the process of counting this money when the carhop bringing my ice cream cone leans in his window and attempts to hand it to him. I am not entirely sure what he said but she beat a hasty path to myself, who had been watching the entire time.

As soon as the transaction was concluded, White Trash got out and into his beat-up old pick-up with a ladder hanging out over the bed and Frat Boy went his separate way, as well.

Of course, me being me . . . I had to think about what I had just watched for the next 30 minutes and analyze it and re-analyze it. And, well . . .

I wonder how much White Trash paid Frat Boy for those "baggies o' fun" last night?

When you are working at not much above minimum wage as some sort of independent subcontractor (as he probably was given the state of his truck and the tools in the back) . . . it can't leave you much to eat and live off of after you've doled the first share of your earnings over to Frat Boy.

And does Frat Boy need the money? My guess would be, "no." That didn't buy his car. More than likely, daddy did. For Frat Boy, its probably just a little extra easy income to supplement the monthly credit limit he has been forced to deal with. I would also venture that Frat Boy probably doesn't do much more than try the stuff . . .

But that's life.

And you wonder why the song will always remain the same??

I am becoming such a cynic . . .

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Spies ©: In Lieu of Actual Content Edition

A Message from Begging the Question:

"In case you're wondering, yes, we do consider it our fate to wander the Earth like Caine from 'Kung Fu,' doling out insipid questions so we'll have something to blog about. This week's wisdom, channelled via meditation from Master Po:"

1. What's your favorite season?

Football season.

There's Baseball Season and there's Football Season and then there's little time between February and April where there is nothing, least I don't think there is . . .

So, Football Season.

2. Do you have a green thumb?

Ha ha. I can't wait to read some of the answers to this question on other blogs.

3. What is your favorite sport to watch? What is your favorite sport to play? Do you have a sports hero?

Football. (But there is nothing like going to a ML baseball game).

To play? Hmm. Does bowling count? If not, then football-- though I haven't played in a long time. Oh, or golf (though I don't know if you'd call what I do "playing").

Sports Hero: the amazing John Elway. He is a football god.

4. Which would you rather be: Mayor, Governor, Senator, or President?

None of the above. Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

That's where the power is, my friends . . . (but remember: "ConLaw" is still short for nothing). Someday little law students everywhere will be reading my run-on sentences and convoluted thoughts and they won't be logging onto a computer somewhere to subject themselves to the pain that is this blog like you are right now.

And it will all begin with: "Opinion by: Misery, J."

5. What are ten must-own items for single men and single women?

1. A good dog.
2. A microwave.
3. "Protection."
4. Caller I.D.
5. A nice pair of dress shoes.
6. C'mon, guys -- a decent suit.
7. A maid. (or a very loving mother)
8. Scented Candles (to cover up the smell of a single man living alone with a dog)
9. A car
10. "The Notebook" on dvd. (so she'll think you might actually be interested in more than what she looks like naked, read the following:

Misery: You go home with a guy, he pulls out The Notebook and pops it in . . . what do you think?
Friend: That he is so sweet and I would want to sit there and cuddle with him all night.
Misery: Exactly.

'Nuff said.)

1. A good man.
2. A good man.
3. A good man.
4. A good man.
5. A good man.
6. A good man.
7. A good man.
8. A good man.
9. A good man.
10. A good dog.

Ladies, for anything else you might desire . . . see items 1-9. Own any of those and you'll get the rest as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Some days you are on the train watching as you pass everyone by . . .

Some days you are one of those people watching the train pass you by . . .

And, then . . . somedays, well . . .

Some days you just want to throw yourself on the train tracks while everyone is too busy watching everyone else to notice you making yourself comfortable on the cross ties.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Walk Softly and Carry a Louisville Slugger

The guys over at Barely Legal have as of late been posting stories about their childhood. Picking up on their cue and unsure of what else I have to write about this morning, I thought I might do the same . . .

I wrote recently asking the question, “What is a redneck?” Perhaps with this story I may answer that question in some minds as pertains to myself. I hope, however, you aren’t so quick to judge.

In my step-family one never came home crying when a bully was causing problems. In the spirit of the wisdom you might find echoed by Al Pacino in the Godfather, my step-father had two mottos of his own: (i) “You don’t accept unacceptable behavior;” and (ii) “You take care of your business.”

As a young boy at the age of 8 whose primary parenting had come from a softer, gentler, typical mother, it was a definite shock to the system when I was first confronted with my step-father’s outlook. When the kids down the street decided it would be fun to bully the new guy, my reaction was to escape home to the care and comfort of my mother—dirt-smeared, tear-stained cheeks and all.

But my step-father stood in the way. And my mother never got near me with a tissue. Instead, I was marched out of the house and he patted me on the back while pointing down the street. “There is your problem. Not here. If you bring it home now, you’ll be bringing it home all of your life. Take care of your business.”

Still sniffling and scared as hell, I marched down to my fate under the gaze of my stepfather to confront these three tyrants—who would later become my friends.

I lost that fight. What I gained has meant so much more over the years.

At the age of 11-12, a bully moved in two doors up from me. He was 15-16 and twice my size and from the moment we met there was no love lost between us. From what I remember of him, his favorite activity must have been to stand at the imaginary line that separated “my yard” from everything else and he would constantly taunt me. Constantly.

As I recall, this went on for two or three months after it began—a length of time for which I should be faulted as I took no action to stop it sooner. I was simply afraid of his size. That, however, brings up another of my stepfather’s sayings: “Never bring a knife to a gunfight.”

So one Friday evening while my parents were out and our baby-sitter stood watching through the window, he again took up his hobby of taunting me and stood just out of “my yard” yelling. Finally becoming fed-up, I picked up my Louisville Slugger and walked up to him, getting in his face. I warned him what would happen if he did not leave. He did not listen.

With one swing I planted it upside his head and planted him face-first in the dirt. He jumped up almost immediately and, with tears welling up in his eyes, he began sprinting back to the safety of his yard. I followed behind until my brother, our best-friend and the babysitter could all together manage to stop me and pull the bat from my grip.

He never gave me a problem again.

Now I no longer encourage, condone nor engage in violence myself unless it is necessary to defend a life. As a teenager I became more of a “peacenik.” Perhaps it was easier for me given my size . . . after only a couple of fights at a young age, no one much challenged me.

I love what Truman once counseled: “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”

Yet without the element of violence, what my stepfather taught me can still be relevant. I still believe that I do not have to accept unacceptable behavior. I also believe it is my responsibility to take care of my own business. And, while no one is perfect, I do try to apply these principles to every area of my life.

Its just that now, when the Bully appears, I have to find a legal way to resolve the situation. I gave up my Louisville Slugger and have traded it for knowledge of the law.

This appears, thus far, to be quite a bit more powerful.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Everybody Wang Chung Tonight

As I look back over my lifetime and think about what the greatest moment in television may have been, I realize my choice probably would not coincide with the majority of society.

I think of Reagan demanding, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” and I think about watching as the Berlin Wall crumbled. I remember watching the Challenger explosion and being intrigued by the reactions of the adults around me.

There was the evening we sat around the television watching a White Bronco followed by a convoy of police and the end to O.J.’s football legacy. Then there was the outrage as the verdict was read some two years later.

There have been great moments in the Olympics in my lifetime: from the Miracle hockey team to the Dream Team, we’ve seen a lot.

There’ve been natural disasters, great Presidential debates and groundbreaking interviews. I will never forget the night I sat watching an historical interview with Louis Farakhan when the program was interrupted to announce the death of Richard Nixon.

And then, of course, there was 9/11 and horror millions felt watching the towers fall, live, on our television screens.

But none of these, for me, can be called my “TV’s Greatest Moment.” No, that moment for me occurred recently and consisted of the 40-something lead singer of 80’s rock band Wang-Chung bending over slightly and slapping his protruding rear while singing, “Girl, I think my butt gettin’ big!”

What entertainment genius . . . what god of all things which dispel boredom . . . what wonderful, wonderful person made the decision that Wang-Chung should perform Nelly’s “Its Getting’ Hot in Here” on my television screen? Please tell me for I would like to kiss him.

What a wonderful thing is this show "Hit Me Baby 1 More Time."

I have not before felt such immense pleasure. I laughed so hard I choked, I almost died . . . and yet, had I gone to meet the Maker at that moment, it would have been a perfect end. Who would not want to die so happy?

Now there are those who will call me "weird" or "crazy" and others that will call me "dense." Most, however, will just think that I am joking.

But I am not. I am dead serious.

I know at the end of the year when the news programs look back over the milestones we've experienced in the previous 12 months -- Wang Chung will not even receive an honorable mention.

But, for me, Wang Chung, I don't care --- you guys are my heroes.

Monday, June 20, 2005

An Overwhelming Sense of Urgency

After the juice I drink in the morning while downing the multitude of vitamins, supplements and pills I take, combined with the ½ liter of water – why do I not have enough foresight to make a 2-minute trip to the restroom before arriving at this soul-sucking 1 ½ hour 8:00 a.m. class each morning?

Isn’t this a lesson I was supposed to learn before I left the 5th grade? How can someone who is intelligent enough to get in to law school and do reasonably well in law school not remember to use the restroom BEFORE sitting down to this class?

At what point does your brain become so full of stuff that to add something such as a working understanding of the Rule in Shelley’s Case . . . mean losing something as basic as your 1st grade teacher reminding you: “Everyone make sure and go to the bathroom before we sit down for story time.”

When I saw the doctor last week, he says, “I forgot to tell you that the blood pressure medicine I prescribed will make you go to the bathroom more.” O, Really? Yeah, I don’t need an M.D. in order to figure out that side effect, Doogie.

Ah well, anyone have a bladder they’d be willing to give me when I’ve worn this one out?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Query: For any “regular” readers I may have, please leave me a comment some time or use the e-mail on my profile to shoot me a line. Introduce yourself. I would like to know what kind of person would waste his/her time reading my random nonsense. Also, if you have any questions of me . . . or any requests . . . then feel free to hand them off.

For Mark, if you are still reading, I haven’t forgotten the “Trackback” feature, just been busy.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Flexing Your Muscles & Flickerstick

Law school and football are the only two things in my life that have ever made me feel, at times, inadequate. But it was never from a lack of ability . . . it was just a matter of allowing myself to be intimidated by the situation.

Law school is designed to be that way. Throw in "life" and it can get real tough. But, as football taught me, occasionally its good to get knocked flat on your ass--

It makes you meaner, tougher, and more ready than before for the hits that are yet to come.

So you stand up, show some teeth, don't even worry about brushing off the dirt . . . and tell 'em "it was a lucky shot, it won't happen again."

Then you make sure the other guy is the next to eat dirt.

* * * * * * * * *

On Another Note: Check out the band Flickerstick from Dallas. They have a rock sound reminiscent (at least in my mind) of some of the bands that we heard on the radio in the mid-1990s. My recommendation is to check out "Beautiful" and "You're So Hollywood."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Spies©: A Mil-hume Production

1. Which relationship will last longer, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ("Brangelina"), or Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes ("TomKat")?

Honestly? I could care less. Angelina is a home-wrecking whore and the Tom-Katie thing is like watching some horrible auto accident but being completely unable to avert your eyes even when they finally, by using the Jaws, are able to get the door open and out falls some mangled unrecognizable hunk of human flesh.

That hunk of flesh . . . that is Tom jumping up and down on Oprah's couch. As for me, I'm going to join the "Free Katie" movement. I hope it is subversive. I want to carry a big gun and wear a black beret.

But if you really need an answer-- I hope it is Brad and his whore. Why? Because "Brangelina" is fun to say.

2. Less importantly, which will have nuclear bombs first, North Korea or Iran?

Depends on which one has the most oil . . .

Ha ha. Just kidding but I had to throw a bone to my liberal friends for just one second.

North Korea already has a (or more than one) nuclear warhead, I believe. Or at least it is strongly suspected.

3. What is your dream car?

Cadillac Escalade. Fully Loaded. 'Nuff said.

4. What book have you read the most times?

I should be answering: The Bible. But, honestly, I've never read the entire thing. There are parts I have memorized and have read over and over and over. Many many more parts i've read through a few times. But I haven't once read the entire thing. So that won't be my answer.

So, it is a tie . . . at 4 times each, the books I have read the most are:

On the Road by my beloved Jack Kerouac; and

Crime and Punishment by my Russian friend Fyodor Dosteovsky

5. Are you a matchmaker?

What did you call me?? I've been working out so I know you're not looking for a fight.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Post Afterall

Check out Law & Alchoholism's discussion on . . . uhm . . . shooting at cats. Excellent, excellent!

Obligatory Post

I guess I should post something for the 2 or 3 people that come on a regular basis. But I don't have much to talk about. It has just been a really bad past few days. Sooooo . . . I'll just include a couple of, well, my past "writings"

A Relationship of Art

This time she took my hand and led me into the night alone
I’ll walk along a web of hope in the same moment our love has grown

The garden is gone the roses the dance
I drop my guard I’ll take the chance
Just keep my hand don’t let it go
We’ll enjoy this moment and drink it slow . . .

It had been hours since the dancing music has died
While I’ve sat in the stillness and silently cried
I’ve danced the last dance at the crossroads of hope
I’ve wished my last wish and penned my last trope

‘Tonight in this darkness, this passion, this palace
All the world dreams of her kiss”
Tonight in this moment, this comfort, this future
I know all I need is this:

Misfortune has found her and fashioned her strength
Forming the woman she is and will be
We share the same wants and think the same thoughts
And, my Beauty, she shines so for me

And this one I wrote a long time ago:

The Night’s Last Dance

Is it wine and roses her eyes devour
Or the starlight reflected in mine
Is it the touch and passion this night, this hour
Or a blessing completely divine

She leads to dance slowly to a rhythm she feels
A rhythm known only to her
He feels himself falling completely completely
And drinks as this moment endures

Tonight in this darkness, this passion, this palace
All the world dreams of her kiss
He bows to her lowly for his soul’s only solace
Dreaming “forever” in ignorance sweet bliss

The candles will flicker and the wind it will blow
And the starlight will fall from the sky
When she finishes this dance to his heart’s ebb and flow
O, my poor soul it will flicker and die

Monday, June 13, 2005

Ethics versus Morality: a second look.

I am sitting here in Professional Responsibility getting absolutely red listening to some of the relativistic thought being espoused by my classmates. My first reaction was to curse the legal profession under my breath . . . yet after I calmed down it began to occur to me: maybe this isn’t just about lawyers, maybe this is an indication of wider social values.

Consider the following Hypothetical:

You are given an assignment to write a 5 page paper, typed, double-spaced, with the instruction that it is to be turned in four days later at promptly 8 A.M and it will amount to 50% of your grade in the course. You are fairly confident it should only take about five hours to complete so instead of starting on the assignment immediately you set it aside and it remains there for 3 ½ days. Finally, on the evening of the third day you pick up the assignment and head to the library with the intention of beginning and completing it in a few hours. However, while on your way you get into an auto accident and are taken to the hospital where you spend the night under the supervision of the hospital.

You are finally released from the hospital at 10 A.M. the following morning and you immediately go to see your professor empty-handed. When you arrive at his office, do you:

A. Explain that you were completely unable to do the assignment because of the auto accident. Therefore, you contend, it isn’t your fault that the assignment is not complete and you deserve an extension without penalty for its lateness?

B. Explain that it is partially your fault the assignment was not completed because you waited, BUT it was reasonable for you to wait and completely unforeseeable that you would be in an auto accident so you deserve an extension without penalty?

C. Explain that it is mostly your fault the assignment was not complete because, although it would not take much time to complete, you should have worked on it sooner and the auto accident was only a partial cause of the fact you don’t have the assignment. Therefore, you ask the professor to be lenient and grant an extension, regardless of whether there is a penalty or not? OR

D. Apologize for not having turned the assignment in, briefly tell him that while certain events made it difficult to complete the assignment on time, it is entirely your fault you don’t have it and you will respectfully abide by any decision on his part?

Which one would you do?

The simple fact of the matter is this: it doesn’t matter whether this is a problem which springs from society-as-a-whole or not. Yes, attorneys are taught how to manipulate the law so as to present favorable outcomes to their clients but this is not supposed to include an outright disdain of the law itself.

When it comes to ethics, then, shouldn’t there be some amount of a reliable constant? It doesn’t matter whether it is harmless or not, a “little bit” of fraud is still fraud. As one classmate pointed out today: “Committing a little bit of fraud is like being a little bit pregnant—it doesn’t matter, you are still pregnant.” And you have also still broken the law.

The Bar’s code of ethics is the only means by which the law-givers and interpreters may ensure that they, themselves, are subject to some form of law.

When we start playing with stuff like that, we no longer deal in law but our stock-in-trade becomes mutable shadows—phantoms—concepts without form, substance, or weight.

And when that becomes the status quo, Justice can longer be feigned—even by the best among us.

I suppose what frightens me is that far too many of my classmates believe the opposite.

A Moment With Myself


This morning we learned a couple very valuable lessons. In order that I can assure you I will not repeat my mistakes, allow me to please run these by you now:

First, when the alarm wakes me up at 5:30 and we have only been able to obtain a mere 1 hour and 45 minutes of sleep . . . it is utterly pointless to stare at the clock and run a economic test on which would yield the most profit: an extra hour of sleep, or an hour and a half at the gym.

Unless, of course, we decide sleep. Otherwise, while it is true that an hour and a half at the gym first thing in the morning has the potential to yield great rewards in the ongoing challenge to improve our health . . . the opposite effect will occur when attempting to run up our internal motor when we have forgotten to get a decent amount of sleep first.

Case in point: We struggled simply walking up the stairs to the elevated track. When this is the case, why would we think we can do 30 solid minutes of jogging. In fact, after only about 19 minutes, we fell asleep while in the middle of jogging. Did you know it was possible to fall asleep while jogging?? I did not. But our left knee will not forget anytime soon as it bore the full brunt of our fall.

Okay, now . . . about the Second point-- Never ever grab an article of clothing out of the clean clothes hamper (or the closet) and stick it in our backpack without checking to make sure it is actually clean. Somehow, clothes have a way of coming to life when place in the dirty clothes hamper, pulling themselves out of the hamper and onto the floor and then traveling into the bedroom where they will end up in a drawer, the closet, or the clean clothes hamper.

This morning, we fininshed our shower at the gym and proceeded to put on our khaki shorts only to find they are dirty. Being too tired to care, however, we are wearing them now . . . and anyone asks, we will tell them we had a messy breakfast at a barbeque place this morning. No barbeque place serves breakfast in Lubbock, you say? Who cares. We are too tired to explain.

On a side note: I would like to welcome my new beautiful reader(s) to Moonlighting in Misery: The Blog, The Experience. This should officially bring my regular readership to a whopping 4 people. At this pace, I should have a solid faithful 12 by the time I finish law school. Not alot? I beg to differ. That is all Jesus had to work with, and look what he did with the world . . .

Sunday, June 12, 2005

This is Erin. Isn't she cute!!?? She wants me to write something about her, something funny. . . But I'm a law student. I don't know funny. Hell, first thing I thought when I saw this picture was -- was she the victim of a slip and fall? And who could we hold responsible . . . she didn't think that was very funny. She probably still doesn't. But, I'm a law student. What do you expect? Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Klan Meeting's Been Moved to the Pancake House

You might be a Redneck if . . . you never miss a single episode of King of the Hill.

What makes a Redneck a redneck? Does the fact that I make an effort to watch UPN each night at 9:00 in order to enjoy a full hour of King of the Hill . . . does that make me a redneck?

Does the fact that I grew up in Oklahoma, building fences for my step-father, make me a redneck? How about the fact that my step-family—the people I grew up with—well, some of them may be rednecks?

They enjoy their Friday and Saturday nights sitting in the backyard, in lawn chairs arranged in a circle, with an ice chest full of Coors and Bud Light in the center. . . smoking and sucking on tobacco, kids playing noisily in the background, Charlie Daniels Band is playing on a the stereo inside and can be heard drifting through the kitchen windows . . . and they all sit around smoking and joking and talking until the back porch light can no longer fight the darkness enough to allow them a clear sight of the beer they have been sipping.

At times, I find that to be an enjoyable way to spend time with friends and family. Does THAT make me a redneck?

On last night’s episode of King of the Hill, Hank is accused of being a racist after Ladybird, his bloodhound, bites a black repairman. In response, he is fronted out in church, he is ostracized at work, he is shut out by his wife and even his friends turn on him. (Bill had a great line when, over a beer, he looked to Hank and sincerely asked, “C’mon, Hank, haven’t they been through enough already??”) It all comes to a head when half the church starts singing “Kumbayah” on Hank’s front lawn.

(If I was Hank, I would have pulled out the garden hose.)

And through it all Hank continues to defend himself by repeating: “But I believe in judging a man not ‘by the color of his skin but by the actions of his heart.’” (A clear reference to King’s admonition to judge a man not “by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.”)

Having grown up in the “South,” just a stone’s throw from Dixie, I have been educated and re-educated time and time again on the evils of racism. Of course there are still a very, very many prejudiced people driving the dirt roads of “Beulah” with their Achy-Breaky haircuts in their 1975 Chevy trucks, but merely living here no longer makes one a racist. Instead, for most, slavery is now seen for what it was: a horrible and morally-destitute institution. It was the cancer that killed a once extremely proud and otherwise great society.


By the end of this particular King of the Hill episode, we see that Hank is definitely not a racist. Yet, I think, most people look at the King of the Hill characters as rednecks. What makes them rednecks? I have no clearer answer to this than I do as to what might make me a redneck.

They are middle-class, living in a small southern town. They are not highly educated, but they are honest and they make honest livings. (Well, I think so . . . not too sure about Boomhuaer, though.) Sure they like to use back hoes to dig big holes, they idolize their pick-up trucks, talk funny, and they stand in their alleyway drinking beer every afternoon. But they’re not racist and they aren’t hateful. They are good people.

Truth is, you would probably call me a redneck simply because of where I came from and, when I’m around other so-called “rednecks,” the way of speaking I slip into. But should I put on a suit and (quite comfortably) correct my speech . . . you would never know.

. . . I’ll tell you what.

Friday Spies©

1. What is the earliest movie you remember watching in the theater?

The Navigator. At least I think that was its name. It was a Disney movie about a boy who gets picked up by a space ship and when dropped back off, he is the same age but 20 years has gone by. Then NASA finds out and they take him away from his parents and lock him up to do tests on him but he escapes by climbing inside this robot and then he and the spaceship go back in time so that he can be dropped off and go home like nothing ever happened. Awesome movie! My grandmother took me to see it.

Or was it: Firestarter with Drew Barrymore? Yeah, that was the first movie I remember seeing while sitting in the back seat of the drive-in eating red licorice.

2. If you could strike one word from the English language, which word would you choose and why?

"BUT." I can't stand that word.

"Your resume was impressive, BUT we've already filled the position."

"You're a really sweet guy, and cute, BUT I just want to be friends."

"I could just let you off with a warning this time, BUT I'm not going to do that."

(And heres the kicker:)

"Law School really only needs to be 2 years long . . . BUT we want to torture you and keep you here one more year to make you get more grey hair, gain more weight, and take on more debt."

3. If you were a superhero, what would be your kryptonite?

Actually . . . the word "BUT"

You can tell its coming from a mile away -- like a speeding train coming down the tracks blowing its horn -- but you just can't seem to avoid it hitting you. It will definitely be the death of me.

4. Would you rather win an Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Golden Globe, Oscar, Pulitzer, or Nobel Prize? What work would you win it for?

A Daytime Emmy award for my outstanding performance in the role of Markus Misery on Days of Our Lives -- he is the somewhat-less-than-perfect disgruntled law student who, though never once taking off his shirt to show a glistening chest to the camera (thank God!), manages to make "women" of at least 3 of Salem's most beautiful while exposing the fact that:

A. this Belle is an imposter;

B. John REALLY can't act (which says ALOT when you are that bad surrounded by the cast of a soap opera); and

C. Salem, as a governmental entity, has been systematically violating the constitutional rights of all poor and/or ugly people by excluding them from the ability to make Salem their home, or to shop there, or to go to the hospital, or out to eat, or to have a conversation on the street -- operating under a policy for which there is no "rational basis" and then he convinces the Supreme Court to start bussing in new residents from Appalachia to integrate the whole town.

(Please don't ask me how I know anything about the show Days of Our Lives. If you are curious: Research. For my second career.)

5. What is your catch phrase? Don't have one? Then make one up!

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