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Give Me The Rain

April 3, 2006

"More than half of all American adults consume more than 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine every day, making it America's most popular drug by far."
-Quote from

It's been raining here in Alabaster quite a bit the past few days. I mentioned in my Saturday column about the downpour that we had on Friday night. That overnight, it must have really stormed, as I dreamed that I was at work and the building flooded. But then it became a national emergency where the entire country was flooding. In my dream, all but one of the local radio stations went down, and even my Sirius radio stations went into automation mode (well, they're most all in automation, but it was "different" in the dream.) There was one part of the dream where an expensive truck belonging to my company ended up getting washed down a hill. But despite the chaos, I never felt panic or overwhelming fear. Even powerful dreams can be relenting in some ways.

I'm surprised I remember so much of it two days later, but the fact that I do made me decide to write about it on here. Why? I don't know. Dreams have fascinated me for a long time. My friend (and former college roommate) Carl Weitlauf went to grad school specifically studying the science of sleep and dreaming. I've contemplated writing a book where the main character begins to have trouble differentiating between real life and dreaming (where the dream world for the character begins to become a constant place due to some force in the real world.) The premise comes across as confusing, though, and I could only imagine executing it in book form. Perhaps I'll give it a whirl someday after I've gained more experience as a writer.

I'm re-reading the book Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I read the book for school when I was a freshman in high school, but 14 years later the book is proving to be a much more powerful and deeper experience for me. The depth that Keyes reaches is amazing, making very subtle points through Charlie (the main character) about the many harsh truths of humanism. I grabbed the book by chance off the shelf at home the last time I flew from Nashville to Tampa, and I'm glad I did. It's one of the great works of the past century, one that I didn't fully comprehend as a 14-year-old. I wonder if most people who read it, children or adults, really grasp the depth that Keyes reaches with it. And I don't mean grasping the story and the plotline, but comprehending the way the characters and their interactions reveal so many different sides of both individual and social realities.

Tony Stewart and Lou Pickney
Tony Stewart was nice enough to pose with me for this picture.

Congrats to Tony Stewart for winning the DIRECTV 500 in Martinsville on Sunday. I met Tony on my last day working with Bubba, and Tony was gracious enough to pose for a picture with me. He is, without question, the most down-to-earth athlete/celebrity who I've ever met. You wouldn't think that you're hanging out with the multi-millionaire NASCAR champion when you're talking with Tony. He's just a normal guy from Indiana... who happens to be an extraordinarily talented race car driver. But he's not egotistical. Hell, he helped us fill Ned Only CD orders during his visit.

Back to modern day, there was no lunch break for me today. Randle (who is working for both Adenus and Pickney Brothers) was out on the job site all day. I thought he might make it back, but the project ended up requiring his attention for the duration of the work day. Consequently, I ended up needing to stay at the office the entire time. I drank an entire pot of coffee by myself. What madness! You'd think I would've been bouncing off the walls like a Gremlin, but I ended up being surprisingly calm. Now I could've driven over to the nearby Exxon station and bought some food if I had been ravaged by hunger, but it turned out okay. This isn't a store where customers come in and shop, but for deliveries, people who come by to do work or make pick-ups, etc., we need to have someone here if at all possible. And, ultimately, it all worked out just fine.

The work day for me technically ends at 4:30, though circumstances dictate that from sometimes I'll need to stay later. Such is the case today, as I had an interviewee in here at 5:30. I decided to stick around the office rather than go home, so after a late lunch/early dinner at Taco Bell, I came back here. While I do live close to work, it ends up being about a ten minute drive each way. Plus, I wanted to be ready for the interview.

Philip Baker Hall
If Philip Baker Hall is on a show, I'm going to give it a chance.

I caught some of the FOX sitcom The Loop last night (it was on after The Simpsons, succeeding in the desired carryover effect on me.) I stuck around because of Philip Baker Hall (I'm a mark for alumni of Boogie Nights), and the show made me laugh some. Which, for a sitcom, is rare. You'd be surprised how a lack of a laugh track will actually help me to laugh at a comedy. The show is far from perfect, and the necessary suspension of disbelief gets pretty tough at times, but it's good enough where I might give it another viewing. Plus it has Mimi Rogers, who is probably best known for her brief marriage to Tom Cruise, but who has connected with an entirely new demographic thanks to her constant appearances on Celebrity Poker shows.

Why is Enterprise still running those "class reunion" commercials where the guy from the Class of '94 gets a rental car to go to his 10 year reunion? The spot made sense two years ago when the campaign first came out, but now it seems silly. What, is there a 12 year reunion at the guy's school? Plus, as someone who has gone to a class reunion, I can tell you that no one gives a damn what car you drive there. You're going to see friends from high school, not going to act and think like you did ten years ago. At the very least, they could've redone it with the "Class of '96" or something. It's a lazy move from an otherwise excellent car rental company.

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