The Dynamic Figure

In looking through a stack of papers on my desk, I found this marvelous self-description — not written by me or about me, but it was sent to me (from Gwen) back in ’97:

“This is an actual essay written by a college applicant to NYU.
The author was accepted and is now attending NYU.

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes.

I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge. I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes.

Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair.

While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis. But I have not yet gone to college.”


Stillness, peace, and hope

Ah, Monday. Almost December, but you knew that. No sculpture class this upcoming month (I’ll post pix of my sculpted works here after they’ve been fired and scanned); no tap lessons, either (just wait ’til next year). But I am practicing to sing in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Church of the Good Shepherd choir (up on Lookout Mountain) on Christmas Eve; scares me to death. Still making plans on where I’ll visit in SanFran. Still working on (or at least thinking about) that latest episode of my music documentary series. Still at Creative Resources. Stillness, measured with some peace, leavened with more understanding, and marred by hope.
Today’s favorite link:

I was favorably impressed today by the customer service and organization at the Sears Service Center (Amnicola Hwy). I took my Hi8 camcorder (a gift from King & Gwen a while back) in for repairs — probably something minor, but as long as they can get it to record and play back video I’ll be thrilled. They had preprinted estimate forms, 3-day turn-around, answers to my questions, reasonable rates — amazing combination for an electronics repair service.

UPS, however, is a different story. I got 64MB more RAM for my trusty 7500 from The Chip Merchant, chose 2nd Day Air, and today — almost a week later — I received the memory. Yes, it was the week of Thanksgiving, but seems like they knew that when they guaranteed I’d get it last Friday.

Jes’ for giggles, I checked on the current state o’ the art of high(er) speed access to the Internet from home. BellSouth offers ISDN (evidently around $30/mo for 128K, more stable than analog modem, and yet if I’m paying so much more I’d want it to be so much faster) and ADSL — except evidently I’m a mile or so outside their approved ADSL boundary maps. NextLec hasn’t called back yet about their xDSL (Lite!) offerings. Blue Star only offers xDSL at 144K speeds for ~$100/month. Comcast claims that cable modems will debut in Chattanooga “around February or March” of next year with speeds averaging 1.5Mbps and monthly fee around $40. I reckon I might as well wait on the cable modem (already planning a negative poster campaign to convince others on my neighborhood node that “cable modems are evil” and thus boost my access rates).



1999 web site
web site circa 1999

Yes, I’ve finally begun a renewal of my web site. (Y’know, once a year or so <grin>). So far today I’ve laid the groundwork for the past section. Later this week, more work on present and future. I’m expecting to make available an ongoing journal of my upcoming trip to San Francisco for New Year’s (each day’s excitement, or lacking that, each day from my perspective).

I’m getting ready to head out to see “Being John Malkovich” (possibly with my friends Trish, Emily, Harv, and others, depending on who shows up). Perhaps a review will appear here afterwards.

Looks like a busy week ahead. Monday night is a family dinner with my cousins (the Chambers) over in Soddy-Daisy. Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my mom. And, oh yes, updating my web page..