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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

September 2000


Thursday
September 28, 2000
7:42 AM EDT

RUMOR KILLER -- Contrary to rumors going around at WSAZ, I have not reached any agreement to go to a station in New Orleans. I'm not quite sure how this one started, but I haven't even sent a resume to any New Orleans stations at this point, so as of now I'm staying put. It's no secret that I would like to go there eventually, and that my contract allows me a New Orleans out, but I don't anticipate that I'll be going anywhere before the start of the new year at the very least. All along I've been wanting to stay here for at least one year, and that hasn't changed.

I slept for less than five hours on Wednesday. I thought I was back on my normal sleep schedule, so I didn't take any sleeping pills, but that bit me in the ass when I woke up at 2:55 PM (after going to bed at 10 AM) and spent the next hour tossing and turning trying unsuccessfully to go back to sleep.

The meeting last night went well, with us finding out that we've "made plan" for the fiscal year (which means we'll have a bonus coming our way). WSAZ General Manager Don Ray even pointed me out and said that I've been doing a good job, which I appreciated. Praise from the top is a nice thing. From there my quarterly review went well, which makes me 3-for-3 to this point on good reviews.

I stopped by BP on my way in to work and bought a cappichino. Well at least I tried to buy it, but the woman at the counter was like "Is that all?" I said yes, and she said, "Go ahead, take it." I was amazed by that, but who am I to pass on free cappichino? Later I heard that Tim Irr had been given free coffee earlier that day, so I guess they were trying to get rid of their coffee supply (or maybe using some sort of unusual word-of-mouth marketing tactic). But as it was, my luck for the day ended there. Trade my karma for a cup of cappichino.

Work today was a rare ugh day, with sleep deprivation hitting. I booked the newscast way too tight, incorrectly anticipating that with Rob on vacation and David in for Scott that there would be a lot less chat time and fill time. So I ended up having to kill things left and right. Plus poor Melanie was feeling sick, making things even worse. At least Joe Thornton did a good job with the record 101 tapes that we had in the newscast.

You know what sounds good now? Sleep. Hopefully I'll get more than 5 hours worth this time around (something tells me I will).


Wednesday
September 27, 2000
9:32 AM EDT

Not much to say right now, other than wow am I sleepy. I'm still getting re-adjusted to my regular sleep schedule (the vampire schedule as many people call it). Tonight I have a staff meeting at WSAZ and then my quarterly review before work at 11.

My friend Brent Frazier wrote me an e-mail this morning, as he's finally joined the digital age and landed an e-mail account. He's working a similar schedule as I am reporting for WSMV's morning news in Nashville. Later everyone.


Tuesday
September 26, 2000
9:27 PM EDT

I've been spending alot of time setting up and using my new computer, and wow has it ever been fun. I'm hoping to find some kind of .html editing program to do some further work on my webpages.

I have my quarterly review at WSAZ tomorrow, which will probably come right after an evening meeting that I will be attending. Over the weekend I had a dream that I received a promotion at work, so who knows maybe it'll come true.

There are some good movies coming out soon on DVD -- in particular American Beauty and Toy Story 1 and 2. Now I'm not exactly Mr. Disney Movie, but the two Toy Story movies were incredibly clever, entertaining and well-made. I brought my DVD player up to Indiana this past weekend, and Kara tells me that she has now ordered a 5 disc DVD player herself. She had Night at the Roxbury on DVD but no player, so we watched that (well actually I fell asleep during it) and a few of the movies I brought with me (Goodfellas and Happy Gilmore).


Monday
September 25, 2000
7:52 PM EDT

I have the new computer set up now, and I'm slowly trying to get it all figured out. It's quite a jump to go from Windows 3.1 to the brand-new Windows ME, but it's been fun trying all the new stuff out.

This past weekend in Indiana was fun. Kara and I went to a club called the Neon Cactus on Thursday and Friday night, where they have a really cool piano bar area in a room called the Rusty Bucket. A man named Bruce Barker plays piano and guitar in there and does an incredible job of entertaining the crowd. If you ever find yourself in West Lafayette, you absolutely owe it to yourself to go there and check it out. On Friday night Steve Levy from ESPN was there, and Bruce ended up getting him to get up and sing a duet with him and help out on piano. It was hilarious, and I wish I had brought a camcorder along to get it on tape. Classic stuff for sure.

Kara and I went to the Purdue/Minnesota game on Saturday, which was fun. Drew Brees, Purdue's quarterback, is the real deal. Later.


Tuesday
September 19, 2000
10:07 AM EDT

Oh, where to begin? The Johnny Socko show on Saturday night was incredible. I wrote a detailed review that you can read right here. They rocked the house at the Empty Glass in Charleston. If you have a chance to see Johnny Socko in concert, DO IT... believe me, you won't be disappointed. They're playing a couple of hours from here in Ohio later this week, but unfortunately I won't be able to go.

This weekend I'm going back to West Lafayette to visit Kara. I'm trying something a little different with my travel plans -- leaving right after my newscast is over at 7 AM Thursday and driving right up there. Then catch a nap at Kara's place, and try to switch my sleep schedule a bit. Then Sunday morning I'll head out and return to Huntington, hopefully in time to get some sleep here before work at 11 PM Sunday night. The last time I went up there, the turnaround for work on Tuesday was brutal.

But it'll be great to get to see Kara, though unfortunately I'm not sure when I'll get to see her again after this weekend. Her October break falls on the weekend when I'm going down to Mississippi State to visit Matt, and then she won't get time off until Thanksgiving, and even then it's not a given that she'd be able to come visit me here. Over Christmas I'm going to fly home to Nashville, then fly with my family to Colorado before flying from Colorado to Huntington. Kara and I have talked about possibly going out to San Diego the week of her spring break, but that's in March, which is quite far off from now.

My Dell computer has finally shipped (as of Friday), so it will hopefully be here soon. I can't wait, it's going to be so much fun. Plus I acquired the MTV Music Generator program for the PC over Ebay, so that should be arriving to me sometime soon as well. By the way, I'm on Ebay as TVNewsLou, though I've only purchased now three things from there. I need to get a digital camera so I can get involved with the selling portion of it.

In recent days I've been doing some comparison shopping for DSL service, and I think I'm going to go with the former Bell Atlantic (now known as Verizon) for my DSL. Virtually all of the research I've read has pointed me toward DSL, with privacy and reliability concerns surrounding cable modems.

Last night right before I had to go to work I checked my mailbox. And, lo and behold, in there was a letter from Aaron Thompson! Turns out that he's working at CBS 44 (WEVV-TV) in Evansville as a photographer/master control operator. It was great to hear from him, and I plan on writing him back soon. Hopefully he and Valarie will get a computer soon so I can e-mail him and what not...


Saturday
September 16, 2000
9:14 AM EDT

"I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you."
-Guns N Roses "November Rain"

Let me start off this commentary on a topic that has irked me for awhile -- age descrimination. There are laws on the books that prohibit age descrimination... for those in their older years (I think it's either 40 or 45; the exact number eludes me at this moment). But for young adults, descrimination based on age is a common practice, readily enacted and enforced by pandering politicians eager to bring in the senior vote. If you're in the 18-20 age group, you're at the most risk of suffering from it. And I'm not talking about the usual clumping of 18 and 19 year olds in with minors (you know, those who try to better themselves by berating cigarettes companies for "marketing to teenagers", overlooking that it is legal for 18 and 19 year old to buy cigarettes, and in fact legal for 16 and older to buy in England and most of Europe). The 21 drinking age is the most glaring example of age descriminiation within the American legal system, but it applies to other laws as well, everything from firearms to requirements for wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle (as in Kentucky). The supreme court has upheld the idea of this age descrimination against young adults as being acceptable, and so sadly the practice continues.

Of course, some people give me a hard time when I speak out for young adults' rights. "But Lou," they say, "you're over 21 now, why should you care? You had to put up with it." It's that sort of mindset that allows such practices to continue. Just because I had to deal with the ridiculous laws and regulations set forth by politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, who were pandering for voters by setting descriminatory rules against the 18-20 age group, doesn't mean that my brother Matt, who's 19, should put up with the same ludicrous statutes, or anyone else in that age bracket for that matter.

I bring this up because of a conversation about rental cars that Kara and I had early this morning. We spent more than two hours talking (and I kept poor Kara up past 4 AM her time), but one of the topics was about rental cars and how many companies simply refuse to rent to those under the age of 25. Age descrimination is at work again, this time against me. I'm 23 and I have a steady job with a dependable income, yet due to blind descriminatory rules I am denied access to the rental. And for those companies would do rent to the under 25 market, they stick you with a daily surcharge for the privledge.

Now, granted, I do comprehend the fact that statistically under 25 drivers are more likely to be involved in auto accidents. But the very elderly are likewise at a higher risk than the average population for involvement in wrecks, yet I don't see Hertz refusing to rent to anyone 85 or older. If they did that, then boom they'd get hit with accusations of "ageism" (as if there weren't enough "isms" out there) and descriminating against the elderly and before you know it they'd have the AARP on their ass and Congress and god knows who else.

So why the hubbub for that, yet the silence over age descrimination for young adults? Simply, it's a matter of money and power. Young adults like me tend to have very little money available for things like political action groups and campaign contributions and the like. Plus, while I am an active voter, many young adults are not registered to vote, and if they are they tend to show up at the polls in low numbers. Compare that with the elderly, with their nesteggs and life savings available for throwing around to the AARP or political interests and their free time and tendency to vote in high numbers.

But does that reality excuse a government from setting laws that descriminate against young adults? Of course not. And hopefully someday future generations will not have to face these inproprieties.

As a sidebar, I think that it is ridiculous that a minor can be "tried as an adult" on a crime. How ludicrous is that. We have the likes of the self-righteous Joseph Lieberman ranting about how these supposed evil interests "market to teenagers", yet then we turn around and want to convict a 14 year old as an adult. Granted, if a teenager murders a loved one of mine I'd want him or her to receive maximum punishment, but the key to that is creating stiff penalties against minors, not the notion of "trying them as an adult." As if suddenly they gained the capacity to make adult decisions (but hey buddy, no smoking if you're not 18). What a crock.

Last night I went to the new "Cell Block G" club in Huntington. They moved from 4th Ave. to 3rd Ave., into a much larger building (which used to be "The Warehouse" before it closed). It has much more room than the old Cell Block, and the second floor area is kinda cool in that you can look down at the dance floor. The dance floor itself lights up, which looks pretty cool, though it looks like it was part of the set of the old game show Press Your Luck. With the red and yellow (and a little green) flashing, I was waiting for a whammy to show up, or at least Peter Tamarkin.

In a few moments I'm going to go help Dave Kinder move. He and his wife and daughter are moving from Huntington to Beckley, West Virginia. Dave will work out of our Charleston newsroom (and have a bitch of a commute to make as a result), and he will be greatly missed as the morning newscast tape editor at WSAZ. In my nine months working with him I've found Dave to be a very hard worker who cares deeply and genuinely about our product. Moreover, he is a great person and a blast to have around -- you never know what Kinder will do next. So Dave, good luck in Beckley, and keep your camera near the phone... I might be calling at 2 in the morning wanting you to go shoot some breaking news out in your neck of the woods.

Tonight Johnny Socko is playing at the Empty Glass in Charleston. I'll be there for it, and you should too -- it'll be a fun show.


Friday
September 15, 2000
8:10 AM EDT

Another week, another three-day weekend for me. I think I'm going to get spoiled with all these four day (or less) work weeks in a row. But, hey, I've earned this time off.

Last night I was a guest for the Pumpkin Fest media dinner out in Milton, West Virginia. Myself, along with Tony Cavalier, Scott Sabol and Scott's girlfriend Tina rode up in the First Warning Weather Van, which was my first time to ride in that particular vehicle. The dinner was tremendous, especially by my usual standards for a meal (i.e. a packet of Lipton noodles). It was like a Thanksgiving feast. Mmm, delicious. Plus seeing Tony and Scott and Bill Murray get talked into participating in the Pumpkin Pie eating contest was hilarious. The concept was a bit brutal though, as after eating this huge meal the contestants were subjected to trying to be the first person to finish eating a mini pumkin pie. Luckily as a producer I'm an unknown to the general public as a person, so I didn't get called out to go up there.

Once we got back I headed over to Sharkey's. I met up with Tara and Crystal over there, and I was happily surprised with Doc being back in town. He's found an apartment down in Charlotte and he finally moves for good on Sunday, and it was great to see him one more time. Unfortunately I won't get to go out with them all on Saturday night; they invited me to go with them to The Empire, a new club in town, but I've already made plans to go see the band Johnny Socko in Charleston.

They had acoustic night last night at Sharkey's, and it was really cool. Tara even got up there to sing some, and she has a really good voice. Some guy from one of the outlaying counties was there, and he was a pretty young guy (looked to be about 19) but he did a tremendous job. But anyway, Tara told me that her interview at Amazon.com went well, but if she doesn't get a job there she'll probably move down to Charlotte with Doc. Great, just what I need, another friend moving away.

I called Kara the other night, and it sounds like she's doing pretty well up in West Lafayette. I'm planning on going up there next weekend, which will be fun, but the turnaround on the sleep will again be brutal. Plus, this time I'm going to try driving up there early Thursday, which will make things interesting since I'll have been up working the entire night before. But if I leave right after work I should be ok. We'll see what happens though.

The Olympics are already underway, and it will be interesting to see how the U.S. does. I've been kind of apathetic about the events up to this point, cause really the qualifying is, to me, immaterial. But the main events themselves should be interesting. WWF pro wrestler Kurt Angle won the gold medal in the heavyweight division in the 1996 Olympics, and given his success I imagine that the winner this year will get major looks from both U.S. and Japanese wrestling companies. Actually Angle would have been a better natural fit with New Japan Pro, though he's done an amazing job in making the transition to the pro level (which is an entirely different thing).

This morning I caught the new video for Lenny Kravitz' song "Again". It's a good song, though I could have done without Lenny walking around nude. I also saw the video for "Bent" by Matchbox 20 for the umpeenth time, but I'm still not sick of it. The new single by Matchbox 20 is great, too. But "Bent" will forever in my mind be the song that reminds me of the summer of 2000, the summer of reruns.

Wednesday evening I awoke and heard a message on my machine from a Dell representative. They had to order my hard drive, which they didn't have in stock. Maybe I should have gotten the 75 gig hard drive instead of the 45 gig. Oh well, it's $200 more that I won't have to spend, and I can always add another hard drive later. Now the decision for me becomes: do I get cable modem access, or should I get a DSL line?

When the new computer finally comes, I look forward to getting a program to help me design web pages. Everything I've ever done in designing a webpage has been done by programming the source code myself. I remember back in August of 1995 meeting Andy Capps by chance in one of the number of lines I had to wait in for freshman stuff. Andy wasn't a freshman, but he knew some about .html programming and writing source code. At that time there was no program, at least to my knowledge, that would set it up for you -- if you wanted a webpage, you had to design it yourself. So with some tips from him, and by studying some other webpages out there, I ended up formulating my original design. While I'll always remember that fondly, five years later the technology exists to create some really sharp looking designs. I've pondered establishing either a career or a secondary job as a URL designer, though that was more back in my minimum wage days as a production assistant at ABC 25. But still, having web programming skills gives me a major edge in the marketplace as far as having a marketable and valuable skill.


Wednesday
September 13, 2000
9:02 AM EDT

I hope my cold medicine doesn't have me too loopy to write a coherent commentary. Yesterday morning, thanks to the over-the-counter medicine I took, I fell asleep watching the movie Man on the Moon on DVD. Unfortunately, it was due back to Blockbuster by noon Tuesday, so me returning it this morning makes me a day later and, ahem, a dollar short. But hey hey, what can I do?

I thought that Jim Carrey gave an excellent effort, though having seen much of Kaufman's original material I found it difficult to accept any imitation in place of the original. Nonetheless, I don't know who could have pulled the role off any better.

Last night it was cold medicine part deux, as I dozed off watching the Bobby Knight interview on ESPN. It was humorous in a half-awake sort of way, as I'd be jolted back to temporary awareness by a hostile exchange by Knight, only to doze back off again. Jeremy Schapp did a good job in a tough role, and of course Knight remained his old bullying self in attacking Schapp, with Knight saying that Jeremy had a long way to go to match his father, the well-known and well-respected sports reporter Dick Schapp. Speaking of Dick Schapp, I remember early in my time at the University of Evansville a comedian coming to the school and trying to tell a joke off the name Dick Schapp (use your imagination on that one buckos). Actually the comedian was really poor, as I remember him trying to make jokes out of things he found in the Evansville Crescent newspaper and falling rather flat in the effort.

Sorry, but sleepiness plus cold medicine equals stream of consciousness at times. That's how it goes. I type pretty fast, but I can't seem to type fast enough to keep up with what I'm thinking. Only one day left in the work week for me, as I have this Friday off from work. There are good things to be said about week-long vacations, but this string of Friday's off in a row is pretty sweet, I must say.

Speaking of vacation, I've been trying to figure out my vacation schedule at work, and it's been a bear to say the least. With Emmis about to purchase WSAZ from Lee, that changes everything from the way payroll is handled to the way vacation runs. So instead of my vacation running on a year-to-year from my hire date (December 27), it goes to a fiscal calendar that everyone operates on, from March 1 to February 28 (or 29 as the case may be). But wait, it gets better. The anticipated purchase date will be October 1, and from what Maribeth at work tells me I would get 4 vacation days from October 1 to February 28, 2001 in a sort of modified pro-rated setup. I've asked for the week of Christmas off (in order to be home for Christmas and to go with my family to Colorado) and received it, but the question becomes: what about October 6 and 9, the two days I booked back in July to go visit my little bro Matt down at Mississippi State? It's so complicated. Dec. 25 and 26 are "holiday" days off for me (one perk of Emmis over Lee -- more holidays on the books), with the 27-29 being vacation days. So now I'm not sure if this puts me one day over on my booked vacation, or if I have an extra day to spare; it depends on interpretation and what the higher-ups say I guess. Either way I'll make it work. But I have many people pulling on my time -- my parents want me to come to Nashville, where I haven't been since Christmas 1999; Kara wants me to be able to go visit her in Indiana and is hoping that we might get to go to San Diego over her Spring Break in March (which would luckily fall under next year's vacation time for Emmis); Matt and I have planned my trip down to Starkville for months now, and I'm hoping to go visit him over in England next summer if he ends up studying abroad there; my friends Ben and Andy in North Carolina have been bugging me for close to 2 years to go visit them in Charlotte. Plus having the occasional day off available might be a nice thing, too. Of course, planning for vacations and long-term plans can be tough knowing in the back of my head that other job opportunities might come up. But I'll deal with all that when the time comes.

I can't believe I forgot to mention how I did some shooting for WSAZ early Monday morning. Stephanie Dusek called me after anchoring the Sunday 11 PM news to tell me about a wreck involving a Papa John's pizza delivery car and a pickup truck that was maybe 3 blocks from the station. Unfrotunately I had no photogs in-house, but Christi was there, and she stuck around to listen to scanners while I grabbed a digital camera and went over there. The wreck was your standard fare accident, nothing too serious injury-wise, but it was a fresh story, something we always like in the morning, *especially* on a Monday morning when there's usually little to nothing intriguing going on from the weekend. Turns out that the pizza delivery guy ran a red light and, oops, got in a wreck. The video wasn't exactly Emmy-award winning quality stuff, but I managed to shoot it which was the goal. Plus Ken seemed impressed by my effort, which is good. It's always nice to have some positive recognition after giving an extra effort, though for me it was just a matter of doing whatever was necessary to get the best possible news product out there.

The big story from that day ultimately was the murder of a Nicholas County sheriff's deputy. As of this writing, the suspect (David H. Morris) is still at-large, which really surprises me. He was arrested on DUI charges, and the deputy brought him in for booking, but apparently in the search overlooked a gun that Morris had, and at the station Morris is believed to have fatally shot him. They have the murder on tape from what I understand, and it's evidentally clear that it was Morris who did it from what I've heard. Anyway, there's a massive manhunt that continues to this hour. If he's still in Nicholas County, my feelings are that they will catch him soon. If not, then who knows.

Sleep is on tap for now...


Monday
September 11, 2000
5:46 PM EDT

First things first. I just read an article on pwtorch.com about the plans of Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman to expand federal governmental control on what you should have the freedom to choose to watch. Read about this sickening pandering to misguided voters in an era of paranoia by clicking here. I mean if you don't like George W. Bush then ok (though I think he'll do an excellent job as president), but by god if you're gonna vote for Gore and Lieberman I really hope you can sleep in peace knowing that you've cast a vote to take away more of your freedom (along with everyone elses).

Work this morning went well. Most people don't like Mondays, but I usually actually enjoy them, because I'm well rested and ready to go. By the end of the week I'm worn down and needing a respite, but unless I've been on the road the previous weekend Monday is usually a good day. Unfortunately this is also tempered by circumstances beyond my control, namely trying to fill a two hour newscast with the limited-at-best news from the weekend. Though today we fortunately had plenty to fill the time with, even with Melanie Shafer off today (and thus less time to be booked for "cross talk" time).

Bob Knight being fired as IU's basketball coach has been a hot topic of conversation. I called Rob Johnson as soon as I heard about it yesterday (at 2 PM during CBS' halftime show during the Bengals/Browns game). He wasn't in, but when he got back from the public event he was appearing at he found out from my message. It's been especially interesting since I've been reading Bob Knight related books in the past month or so.

It's too bad about The Sopranos only receiving one Emmy last night, but voters can be fickle people. At least The West Wing received 9 Emmys -- it may be the best show on broadcast TV. It's intelligently written and well-acted. As for Will and Grace, I've seen it maybe once, and I found it tolerable but nothing particularly special. But I'm not much at all for sitcoms, so who am I to judge?

My bro Matt e-mailed me today, and get this, he and my dad left Sunday's Chiefs/Titans game with two minutes to go!!! My dad likes to beat the traffic, but that backfired as the Titans rallied to send the game into OT and then ultimately win it on an Al Del Greco field goal. The Titans tied an NFL record with nine consecutive regular season wins to open a new stadium, and the game where they go for the record tenth will be most intriguing as they host the upstart New York Giants on October 1st (they have a bye this week and play at lowly Pittsburgh next week). As of now, the plan is that I'll get to see the Titans' season finale, a home game against the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas night.

My Fantasy Football team won a much-needed game. Next week we play the 2-0 Bay Area Pigs, and we won't have Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison or Kevin Dyson at our disposal. We'll need some luck to win...


Saturday
September 9, 2000
4:00 PM EDT

Marshall's 18 game winning streak has come to an end, as they lost at Michigan State 34-24. It was a close game for a long time, but ultimately MSU was just too tough. It's too bad that Marshall and Michigan State didn't play last year -- that would have been an incredible game...

The long weekend has been nice for sure, and I should be well-rested for getting back to work on Monday. Right now I have Notre Dame and Nebraska on in the other room. My friend Phil Murphy is at that game (he's a Notre Dame grad), and I know that Lance Wilkerson back in Evansville is cheering like mad for Nebraska (he's a big Huskers fan and he hates Notre Dame). In fact I never heard the end of it after a bunch of us from Channel 25 in Evansville (me, Lance, Chad Rhinesmith and Ken Murray) went to the 1998 Orange Bowl in Miami when Nebraska beat Tennessee in Peyton Manning's last game for the Vols. But that's what I get for going to that game with three Nebraska fans...

The club scene was pretty dead in town last night, which can be attributed to many of the students from Marshall going up to East Lansing for the big game with MSU. It pretty much sucks with Tali and Doc both having moved out of town as far as finding people to go with me to hit the bars and what not. But hey, the next few weeks should be good. Next weekend Johnny Socko is playing up in Charleston, then the following weekend I'm tentatively planning on going back up to West Lafayette. After that it'll be back to reality with a five day work week.. but then the following weekend I'm taking Friday and Monday off to go visit my bro Matt down at Mississippi State.

I talked with my parents the other night, and they told me that it only took them about a week and a half to get the computer that they ordered from Dell. Hopefully mine will get here soon like that -- I can't wait to get it. I'll get it set up and hopefully get my cable modem access going, and it'll be nice.

There's not much else to say right now. Guess I'll go catch the second half of Nebraska and Notre Dame here in a few minutes...


Friday
September 8, 2000
7:38 AM EDT

"You may be done with the past, but the past isn't done with you."
-Line from the movie Magnolia

Sorry for the lack of updates in the past week, but sometimes things get busy and overwhelming and what not. But it's like I blink, and *poof* a week goes by.

I heard yesterday from Jenny Kinney, a girl from Evansville who I dated once upon a time. She tells me that she's getting married next spring, so congratulations to her. I'm still not used to the whole thing, friends and ex-girlfriends and people my age who I know who are getting engaged and married. Not that it should be surprising to me, I mean I turned 23 last month so that's reality, and a generation or two ago that would be much much more the case. I'm not quite sure that this is the appropriate forum for me to go on a rant about marriages, but in a nutshell I think that quite often it's something that people either rush into or feel pressured into or for whatever reason find themselves in for the wrong reasons. Imagine for a moment that instead of people getting married, they signed a "five year deal". They'd be saying that they'll spend the rest of their life with someone anyway by getting married, so five years is a mere drop in the bucket, right? Of course, who am I to go against culture and tradition and religion and whatever else people want to come up with to justify something that fails more than 50% of the time? Sometimes I think I put too much thought into certain things, but when it comes to a lifetime commitment like marriage, I think that it's something that deserves a great deal of thought and planning.

For me, personally, I don't want to find myself becoming a shell of myself or a parody of who I really am or otherwise compromising my reality in order to play some role in a marriage just to keep things "happy". Now if I can find myself in the right relationship with a woman who understands all that and won't expect or demand otherwise, then we'll talk. But until then, I guess it's just me against the world.

I hate to come across as negative, but I've felt kind of out of it since I got back from Indiana. Late last week I was facing some major sleep deprivation. From 5 PM Wednesday until 2:30 AM Friday I was awake, and then up visiting Kara in West Lafayette sleep was really catch-as-catch-can. And despite only having a three-day work week, I found myself really irritable and in a bad mood, for reasons I don't understand. Perhaps it's the whole sleep thing and not being caught up even now. Tuesday morning at work was beyond brutal -- in hindsight I *really* should have taken a nap before I went in.

But it was great getting to see Kara again. It's too bad that she lives so far away (it's about a 5 1/2-6 hour drive from Huntington to West Lafayette), though at least she'll be finished with school in May. She and I get along great when we're together. Unfortunately we didn't get to play any tennis as we had hoped, as a major thunderstorm hit right when we were driving over to the courts. But perhaps we'll get to play when I go back up there in a few weeks. Here's a picture of Kara and I from '97.

I rented the movie Magnolia, which I just finished watching. It's a great film, though with it being so long I can understand why some people may not like it. Kinda like how I love the movie Boogie Nights, but some people hate it cause it goes on and on. But that's P.T. Anderson's style, giving you lots of sub-plots and character development and depth, which I love. Some people are so conditioned to the standard movie formula that they react negatively to something outside the box, but I think that Anderson's work is tremendous. Tom Cruise's character in Magnolia (T.J. Mackey) is outstanding, as is his portrayal of it.

Kara actually this past weekend mentioned that she thought that I could be an actor. I've heard that from time to time, and actually it's something that I think I would enjoy. My difficulty has been in memorizing lines, but everyone from teachers to friends have made mention of that they think I could be an actor. Of course, being at Harlaxton with some of the most talented college-aged actors and actresses in the country put things in perspective to a certain degree, but nonetheless it is something that has that spark of interest for me.

I've finally ordered a new computer. I ended up going through Dell to get it, and it'll be sweet. 800 mHz, 256 megs of RAM, CD-Rom and CD-RW (so I can burn my own CD's), Sony trinitron monitor, 45 gig hard drive, and hopefully soon to have @Home cable modem service. So no more slow 14.4 modem to get on AOL (if I'm lucky and no one in my family is logged on) and cumbersome uploading to put stuff on my webpage. I've actually fallen a bit out of practice with my .html skills recently due to my ungodly inconvienant setup and slow system. But hopefully with the new system I'll have the chance to do lots of updating and redesigning on my pages. And maybe I'll even work with an .html design program, which would be a first for me. Every page I've ever designed has been code I've done manually.

Just this morning I finished the Steve Alford book "Playing for Knight". It's a good read, though not nearly as in-depth as the Feinstein book on Knight. Next I start on Joan Mellen's "Bob Knight: His Own Man." Rob Johnson let me borrow all three of the aforementioned books on Knight, so that's what I've been reading as of late.

Random thought -- I need to get a library card. The Huntington downtown library is only a few blocks from my apartment.

My fantasy football team lost this past weekend to Josh. I've never started a season at 0-2, so there's major pressure on my fellas to win this week against Bob.

Right now sleep sounds like a good idea. Hopefully my next update will be soon...


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