Unofficial Apprentice – Part I

March 1, 2008

“Mr. Shaw, we’re ready for you.” The young blonde masseuse said with a smile. I rose from my chair in the chiropractor’s office, ready for my appointment. I was not only going to get a regular adjustment, but on this particular day, a massage as well. I had been looking very forward to it, as my back had been hurting some. I followed the young masseuse down the hall, leaving the reception area, the other people waiting, and the hispanic man at the desk. As we entered the dimly lit room, I prepared myself for what was to come.

Now, I tend to be a bit squemish when it comes to massages. Particularly in the neck area. But this was good for me, I told myself, my back always felt better after, and my back was being properly adjusted. The combination of someone I don’t know touching me in a way that most people don’t and me laying with my shirt off, facedown on a table was almost too much to bear. But I managed to get past it, convinced that the benefits were worth the discomfort.

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An Odd Day at The Amusement Park – Part III

March 1, 2008

We were filled with great disappointment. The Screamin’ Eagle sure looked like fun. Downtrodden, we made our way toward the roller coaster. It was mediocre at best, but still looked fun. It seemed more promising than Lewis and Clark, and less humiliating than the Screamin’ Eagle. Once we arrived, we decided to rest a moment on a bench directly facing the ride and watch the coaster go by. The people filed into the roller coaster cars with excitement; this was one of the best rides that the park had to offer. After everyone was strapped in, the car went forward, quickly rounding the first corner and setting off on an epic journey that we would never forget.

Up and down the car went, through loops and hills, the people screaming with delight. We looked away for a moment and when we looked back, saw that there was a problem. We looked over to see a worker trying to push the stuck car over the crest of a hill. The people were clearly upset that their fun had been interrupted by this abrupt stop. After a few moments, the worker was able to push the car over the crest and the people once again shouted out with excitement as they continued their path of loops and drops and curves.

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An Odd Day at The Amusement Park – Part II

February 29, 2008

After riding the Lewis and Clark ride at least 7 or 8 times, we decided to move on to a larger, potentially more exciting ride.  The “Screamin’ Eagle” was more than a step up from Lewis and Clark.  Essentially a circle of people facing inward, you would sit in the seat, legs dangling freely in the air, and the circle swings back and forth, spinning like crazy.  Brock and I arrived just in time to join the next ride.  As we approached the ride, one of the ride workers said to the other, “Yeah, I’m not sure if they’ll fit.” 

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An Odd Day at The Amusement Park – Part I

February 27, 2008

Once a year my Dad’s company has a company picnic. One year I had the opportunity to go. It proved to be very different than I expected it to be. Along with my family, I brought my good friend Brock. We were ready for food and fun times at a mediocre amusement park. After filling up on hot dogs and rectangular cheeseburgers we made our way towards the rides. Due to the limited amount of rides at this particular amusement park, we decided to start small and then work our way up to the bigger, more exciting rides. We began our night of amusement at “Lewis and Clark Adventures”, a simple ride where the roller cart weaves through a room full of relatively simple attractions. We were able to get on the ride very quickly because there was no line (which should have been an indication as to the degree of fun we would have) and were greeted by a woman in her late 40s who had clearly been working too long a shift and was in desperate need of a break. “You don’t want to go on this ride.” she said with a blank stare on her face. This should have been the second indication that the ride was sub-par. But we insisted that we go on it, so we took our seats in the rusting car.

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Variety Shows of Early Television

February 25, 2008

Originally posted at

Something that I regret I could not witness was the popularity and prevalence of variety shows in early television. I like whole style of the of the variety show; bringing masses of celebrities and talents to the shows and the living rooms or the viewers. Even though they were celebrities when on the variety shows they became like everyone else. They performed but it was often much more lighthearted. They had fun and enjoyed working on these shows. They would gather in sets made up like living rooms often having several of the top talents coming together for an hour of fun and entertainment.

I also like how there was indeed variety in these shows. On the shows comedians, actors and musical performers were blended making an experience unique for that episode. There were so many of these shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin, Johnny Cash, Danny Thomas and many more. Dean Martin may have been the king of these with the Martin and Lewis Comedy Hour, the Dean Martin Variety shoe and his celebrity roasts. Another important element of variety television was the introduction to new and arriving talent (especially in the case of the Ed Sullivan Show).

Looking at today’s television we really have nothing equal to it. The closest would be the late night shows and sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live.

Have a look and see what I mean:

The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show

Phil Harris on the Dean Martin Variety Show (you might recognize him as the voice of Baloo on The Jungle Book)

Bob Dylan on the Johnny Cash Show

Louis Armstrong on the Dean Martin Variety Show

Johnathan Winters on the Dean Martin Variety Show

A Poem of Frustration

February 7, 2008

I have never been good at writing poetry
because the words that often flow from me
have a cheesy little rhyme scheme,
the A-B-A-B type.

I can never break the mold
and make poetic gold.
But maybe if i’m bold
I’ll write without the gripe.

But then there’s the issue of content.
No matter how much time I’ve spent,
other people’s poems I too often resent.
But their ideas i can’t blatantly steal.

Love poems seems silly,
Or, is it a good poem, really?
If I write about the weather being chilly?
If only I had more zeal…

I want to be good with words
like the people deemed, “nerds”.
Hey, this poem rhymes in thirds!
I’m breaking away this time.

So I guess I’ll just keep at it
this poetry mountain i’ll climb
oh no, that’s it, I’ve had it
I’m back to the A-B-A-B rhyme!

A Club Full Of Drama or How I Got Over The Cooties – Part III

February 1, 2008

It was the week of the performance and we had a full dress rehearsal. Everyone was in costume, all plastered with makeup, tights on (it was Robin Hood after all). We had spent many weeks practicing diligently and were a bit anxious for the first complete run through with everything. I felt nervous not only because I was wearing tights and makeup, but because there was no stopping. The lights were on, the stage was set, now I just had to remember all of my lines.

The run through went pretty well. I was not very nervous as I had acted a little bit before and we had rehearsed this play backwards and forwards. I knew my lines and I knew my actions. After the first act, we took a short break. The director complimented each of us on a great first half and encouraged us to do great on the second. I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was the lead role in the play and doing a fine job. I felt confident with my acting skills. When someone would forget a line, I would often be able to ad lib and help them along to their next line. I knew what needed to go where, who needed to say what, and in general what was going on. Nothing could throw me off, I was in the groove. One act down, one to go.

The second half continued on very smoothly, and without any major hiccups. Throughout the second half, I was pleased with my performance, and inside secretly looking a little forward to the close of the play. Just a little part inside me was a little bit excited for the closing kiss. I didn’t like Maid Marian. But as a ninth grade kid who looked like this:picture-1.pngand who had minimal interaction with girls, it was a little bit of a thrill for me to kiss her, as awkward as it was for me to do, and even more awkward for anyone to watch. But throughout the second act, I eagerly anticipated this moment. Read the rest of this entry »