Wednesday, September 1, 2010

'I Am The Machine Gunner' at Baltimore Theatre Project

If you haven't yet had the privilege of seeing a piece of theatre that has, without a doubt, changed your owe it to yourself to drive to Baltimore Theatre Project and be a part of Yury Klavdiev's "I Am The Machine Gunner", translated by John Freedman.

To give you an idea of how gripping this show is, writing this plug is the very first thing I have done since arriving home from the final dress rehearsal of the show. I have plenty of reading to do for tomorrow's classes...but I want to make sure I catch everyone before they go to bed. 

I do not care how far you are from Baltimore, make the drive. This play will move, inspire, and change you in ways that you cannot be prepared for.

Today the theatre had trouble with the air conditioning (and by trouble I stopped working) and the temperature inside the theatre was extremely high. I'm talking...instant sweat high.  I have no doubt the problem will be resolved by tomorrow night's why tell you this?  I tell you this because after literally the first second actor James Knight came on stage, I did not notice the heat until the show had concluded and the house lights came up.

As an actor, James' performance in this one-man-play is inspirational, and is something I feel must be witnessed if you are an aspiring actor. I promise you this: your attention will not falter, he grips you from the very moment he appears on stage, and never lets you go.

For those of you who might have seen the workshop production of the 'Machine Gunner' at Towson University last winter, I can tell you that this already breath-taking show has made incredible strides from its former self. I dare not reveal any details of the changes, or the show as a whole, because the team has worked far too hard for that, and you owe it to yourself to let this show hit you without any spoilers blocking its path.

Read more about the show on the play's blog here:

For tickets, head here:

Trust me, you want to be a part of this production. Additionally, if you are a Towson Student, bring your OneCard in order to receive a bullet-casing necklace/keychain. That should be incentive for anyone to want to come out to the theatre.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Ghost Adventures"- The Funniest Hour on Television

I don't know if you've ever heard of the Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures"...but I would highly recommend it.  The guy who hosts this show is...well, I suppose 'absurd' is a good way to describe it. Ghost Huntin' with his two good buddies and his acid-washed jeans.

Livin' the dream.

Since being home for the summer, I've caught a few episodes with my mother, and last night after watching The Professional (it had been a year for me...too long really) we realized it was on and needed a laugh following the bloodshed of the film.

Our boys in black didn't let us down.

Perhaps it is my mother and I's commentary that provides the real humor, but I'm sure if you found the time to watch it you'd be providing your own in mere seconds.  From the first time they jump yelling "Holyshitdidyouseethat!" at absolutely nothing, or when they stop dead in the middle of speaking to glace to the right and say " [Voiceover] behind me you can clearly see an energy orb moving past my shoulder, just at the moment I felt his cool touch on my neck.", you'll get the gist of what the show is like.

Now, I admit, I made up that last quote...but not these:

"I'm using provocation...I'm provoking."

"I want you to do something...LISTEN TO ME TALKING!"

"Unexplained Energy Orb"

"There are two types of spirits. Intelligent spirits and unintelligent spirits. And it's the intelligent spirits that answer your call."

(On the subject of the ghost of a slave-trading bounty hunter)"Well I hate slavery, i think that was one of America's biggest I'm gonna go over there and have a talk with this bounty hunter."

"When darkness arrives, it seems like they're coming out of their cells to play with us...and I'm ready to play."

"There was an inmate that was gang-raped to death."

And my favorite back-and-forth of the two episodes we watched:

-Nick: "Its icy cold right here...that means it could be an energy source of some kind."
-Zak: "Or a door way!"
-Nick: "...or a portal..."

And don't think that the hilarity I find in this show spawns from bias. Frankly, I believe in ghosts.  I'm in theatre, for God sakes. And some of these ghost shows are interesting and well-done.

This one is not, and believe me, it is for your benefit.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There's Something Wrong with St. Michaels, Maryland

This past weekend my family went on a short vacation to Annapolis.  Before heading home we took a side trip to other side of the bay to visit this great town my mom had heard about: St. Michaels.  Now, I don't know if any of my readers have ever been there, or perhaps are even from there, but either way I still feel compelled to share with you the only thought I had while inside that city's limits:

Something isn't quite right here...

I have a few examples of what I meant, a few events that transpired that ultimately resulted in my parents and I saying: "I'm not sure why...but we've gotta get the fuck outta here."

Event Number One:
Within minutes of arriving we started to move toward this museum store where were hoping to find a map of the town.  Before we got there, however, we witnessed a man, in broad daylight, urinating on the side of someone's house.  He then proceeded to move (un-impaired, mind you) to a boat where his friends were...and got on, departing shortly there after.  The strangest part was that we were not the only witnesses...and the man knew we saw him. He made no excuses, paid us no mind. He just...did it.

Event Number Two: 
There are exactly two public bathrooms in the town of St. Michaels, Maryland: One for men, and one for women. they are located behind a small restaurant called 'The Bleachers'.    I can't speak for the ladies room, but the men's room had one urinal and one toilet. Inside the stall...the toilet paper was padlocked to it's dispenser.

There's something wrong with St. Michaels, Maryland.

Event Number Three:
There appeared to be some sort of Razor Scooter Gang in the town.  I say this because they were dressed similar, circled their scooters in unison like a swarm of vultures around a rotting corpse, and one of them scooted over to a shiny black Escalade, which stopped in the middle of a side street.  There was an exchange of some kind, before both parties went their separate ways.

Event Number Four:
We came upon a small sign above a box.  the sign read: "Dispose of Passports Here."

There's something is wrong with St. Michaels, Maryland.

Event Number Five:
After walking around for about twenty minutes, my mother and I discovered some strange bites on our legs. I felt nor saw any mosquitoes, and the bites appeared to be those of a spider...but we felt none, nor were we anywhere near any tall grass or weeds.

Event Number Six:
After getting some ice cream, the three of us sat on a bench. At exactly six o'clock (I know because I had just checked the time on my phone) a woman came out of the store we sat in front of and told us that she needed the bench because they were closing, and if she did not take the bench would be gone in the morning. Looking around, we noticed many shops were doing similar things, all taking in objects from in front of their stores...all exactly at six.

Suddenly I felt like Will Smith in I Am Legend

There's something wrong with St. Michaels, Maryland.

Additionally, my father informed me that the FAA has placed a one-mile No-Fly-Zone above St. Michaels. Why?  Dick Cheney lives there.

We left quickly...never to return. However there were two bright spots of our short time in St. Michaels: the shotglass I picked up (# 138 in my collection) will always have a good story behind it.

The other thing?  this poster:

The only strange part about this?  A few stores down someone else had stolen the idea, chicken-scratching the exact same rules onto their window.

There's something wrong with St. Michaels, Maryland.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Skunk War: Day 22--"It's Over"

At least, we believe it to be over.

A quick recap of Night 19 and  Days 20 and 21:

Night 19:
That night we had one trap from Critter Control, and our own Havaheart Trap. Both were put out and baited, the CC trap being placed at the 'Blind Trap' spot, directing in front of the hole out of the enclosure.

Day 20-Thursday
The lone son of the original skunk (Mama Skunk) wasn't going down without a fight. I guess it runs in the family.  The next morning we found that our trap had been robbed of it's bait...but had not been set off. This was inconceivable...however, I quickly deduced what had happened.

Since it had proven effective, I left that trap in the exact same spot it was when it caught the first skunk the night before, however, I had not filled in the hole made by the skunk trying to escape.  The final skunk had used those holes to get under the trap, and take the bait out through the bottom of the cage.

Slippery bastard.

That night it was re-baited and we tried again, but with only our cage. Critter Control said they needed their cage elsewhere, and since we had one that had caught one before...they decided we could be the sacrifice.

He came out later than the normal 9-9:15 range, something totally understandable for a young skunk that is now on his own. However, he was frightened by the lights we used  to check on what he was doing, and he retreated back into the hole. So we decided to leave it alone until around mindnight.

It was around that time that we came out to check, and noticed the bait had been taken yet again.  The skunk had dug underneath to get the bait.


I carefully took the trap out of the enclosure, re-baited it with a large chunk of meatloaf that was sitting inside a small dish (so it could NOT be pulled through the holes of the cage), and relocated it a bit closer to the burrow, where we believed the skunk to be.

Day 21-Friday
The Next morning the was no change to our trap.  It was still set, bait and all.

That night, we moved the cage into the 'blind trap' position at the hole in the fence, this time with a board underneath it. (Clever, eh?)

And, around midnight on Saturday morning, when we went out to check the cage...there he was. The final little soldier had been captured. The war was over...and we had won.

Day 22-Today

Critter Control did not arrive first thing in the morning, however.  In fact, they still had not arrived by 11 o'clock.  We thought it cruel to make the skunk spend his last few hours of life cooking in the hot sun, so my dad briefly made an effort to put up an umbrella nearby.

However, as my dad approached...the tail went up.

No shade for the skunk.

Luckily the CC man (not John, John would have been on time) came not-too-long after that.

Within a few minutes the skunk was on board the truck...and the truck drove off with the last of our determined enemies.

22 Days, 7 skunks, 6 cages, and 3 Critter Control Vists later...the war has finally come to a close.

However, the trap is still set tonight...just to be safe.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skunk War: Day 19- "And Then There Was One"

...we think.

All four cages, the three by Critter Control and the one we bought, all had skunks in them by the end of the night last of which, housing two of the little furry friends.

John from CC told us that we have set his new record for skunks picked up at one location with five (beating the previous, surprisingly low record of two). Here are the best looks I could get at the cages:

 (There are two in there!)
 (That one hugged the door the entire time I saw him)

It took John over 45 minutes to transfer all of the skunks into the Transfer Cage on his truck, a process in which four of the skunks shot off some spray at multiple points, leaving our yard, clothes, and garage with quite a potent smell.

 Unfortunately, I did discover that my ultimate fear of calling Critter Control was correct; As it is illegal to move skunks in Pennsylvania, all of skunks (including Mama Skunk yesterday) had to be put to sleep. If only they didn't have that damn spray (and didn't eat flowers) they could have stayed under the shed for all I cared, but as it was, they all had to go. At least they're back with Mama now.

On the other hand, I was wrong about another major aspect of the War...the total number of skunks.  Very early this morning my dad witnessed one skunk still meandering about the yard while all of the cages were full of his siblings, which means we had at least SEVEN skunks under our shed. John left one trap, and we will put that out with our Havaheart Trap tonight, in an effort to grab, what we think is the final skunk. Our success rate has been pretty good since John got involved, so we have high hopes that tonight will be the final night of the battle. The final night of sitting in the dark with flashlights and binoculars. 

Although, I have to say...part of me hopes there are another cluster of skunks down there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Skunk War: Day 18- The Mighty Have Fallen

Say hello to my little friend...

That...would be Mama Skunk.  She trapped herself in 'the blind trap' around 9:10pm last night. As it turned out  I lied about staying on the deck.  Myself and my dad went around the other side of the yard (careful to stay outside of that 15-foot radius) and examined the situation. for a long while the babies surrounded the cage and they all tried feverishly to free Mama (leaving quite the hole in the ground, I might add).

The trap behind the shed also caught something...a cat. This was not the goal. Damn cats.

Well...One down, five to go. John from Critter Control took Mama away and we're hoping that, in their confusion, all the babies will stick together and can be caught tonight.  The traps are all reset and back in their old positions, ready for another battle.  It would seem, my friends, that the end of The Skunk War is in sight.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Skunk War: Day 17 - Waving The White Flag


There are six skunks living under our shed.  We took a few nights off from observation due to hectic morning schedules (should we catch something, of course) but when I returned to the field Saturday night...I got quite a surprise.  Sitting alone in my club house I watched them all parade around the enclosure. It was at that time I decided I was out numbered and I shot the Maglite their way and shouted "Alright...everyone back in the cave!" I'm serious, that's what i shouted. They obeyed, then I sprinted for the deck.  A few minutes later, I watched as they marched off, in two different directions, in groups of three.

Out numbered, we decided to pull The French Tactic and call in the bigger guns.
 Our good friends at Critter Control arrived at 4pm today and set up three traps. One directly against the hole in the fence (the "blind trap", as John from CC called it), one in the enclosure in front of the burrow, and one behind the shed.  The only thing left to do is wait.

Tonight we'll observe only from the deck, and without flashlights.  Our friend John believes we will catch at least three of them tonight, but hopefully they'll be sticking together and get them all.  He used big traps, so they will be able to get their tails up to spray if they need to. But, as John put it: "That makes this that much more exciting." You have to appreciate it when you meet someone who loves their job.

So, in the words of Dexter Morgan...

"Tonight's The Night."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inception: A Perfect Film

Christopher Nolan, I have a question: As a writer, how can I ever be expected to attempt this art again after seeing your newest film?  How could I even conceive something in the general neighborhood of originality after what you graced the screen with early this morning?

(Before we move on, for those of you interested in The Great Skunk War, the next battle will take place either Sunday or Monday night)

Now then, let us discuss what some of my most trusted 'movie buddies' have already called The Greatest Movie They Have Ever Seen.

I had high hopes for this movie going in.  I love heist movies, I love movies about teams (often one and the same), I love Christopher Nolan, I love Hans Zimmer, and I really love Leo DiCaprio.

Well, let me start with a few bold statements to get everyone's attention.  Inception will win the oscars for every visual effects category, at least one sound category, best Original Screenplay (Christopher Nolan), most likely Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), probably Best Director (Christopher Nolan), and has a very good chance at Best Picture. In terms of nominations, however, I will start off by saying it will lead all other films in terms of total nominations. Marion Cotillard will probably be nominated for Best Actress, Ellen Page will be nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and as of right now, i think she should win. And it goes without saying that Hans Zimmer will be nominated for Best Score.  The only tricky category is Best Supporting Actor. I say this because Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy should all be nominated, and would all deserve it. And finally, I guarantee Inception will win the SAG Award for Best Ensemble Cast. 

Yes, it was that good. 

Word has it that Nolan spent ten years writing the screenplay for Inception. I'm not surprised.  I think anyone would be hard-pressed to think of the concepts used in the film in that amount of time. If there is one thing I have an appreciation for, it is a good story. In terms of film, Inception is the most original and gripping story I have ever been told. Not only that, the story is more or less seamless. In the last year or so, I've grown to be quite nit-picky about faults such as plot holes, bad cuts and poor dialogue.  I found no such problems during my first viewing of Inception. I say first, because at least one more will follow before it leaves has to.

Nolan took humanity's age-old fascination with dreams and managed to create a completely unique labyrinth of a story, which sucks you in from the first frame and spits you out at the credits, totally satisfied. But that is just the actual event of the film. You will be discussing it, thinking about it, and re-thinking your life philosophies for at least the rest of the night...a night which, by the way, you will pray you do not dream.

Generally speaking, I find that movie reviewers tend to tell to much of the plot when attempting to provide a brief synopsis of the film. For this reason I try to keep my summarizing to an absolute minimum, and in this case, the following sentence:

Inception is about dreams, dreams within dreams, and the dreamers who dare to dream the dreams within their dreams.

I refuse to tell you any more plot details. At this point, i feel you should be adequately intrigued to go out and treat yourself to this glorious film.  Although I'd consider Inception almost spoiler-proof, I don't want to take that chance. Everyone deserves to be wowed by this piece of cinema. I owe it Christopher Nolan, his brilliant cast, and awe-inspiring writing to tell you to stop reading, get in your car, and go see this film.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Skunk War: Days 7,8 and 9

Alright, so I took some time off.

Fear not, the Skunk War rages on. The Skunk, who has finally been given a name...Stinky...I know, original (taken from the Beanie-Baby we found of the same species), has discovered he can get in and out of the bigger trap (with the food) without any problem, other than that pesky problem of having to thrash the cage off of him.

The food is never just nibbled upon and left to rot, by the way. It (along with the leaves I've been putting near his/her hole to alert us that it is out) is always just gone in the morning, meaning he has been taking everything into his hole with him, making a lovely little home for himself.

On Day 7, my brother and his wife joined our observation team. Now, what happened that night was a bit strange. When the skunk failed to enter the trap, my brother and father and I all jumped from our respective perches and basically charged it with flashlights.  We managed to make him do a few loops around the shed before he scurried off into the neighbor's bushes.

As to what we hoped to accomplish from this impulse, I couldn't tell you. Cornering him will only make him more likely to use his last defense to get away from us. Perhaps it was just the fact that, well...the whole situation is beginning to get a little old, I'm not gonna lie.

Tomorrow, someone at my dad's work is lending us yet another cage trap, this one bigger than the last, to try and capture it. If the trap works, wonderful, if not...we have a few options.

Option One (less likely): Leave it be.

Other than the fact that it is a skunk, an animal with one very big con to it, I see no problem with letting he/she live out his/her little 3-4 year life under our shed. My father, on the other hand, does not subscribe to this option.  There is a big fear that the skunk might just move under our deck. I have long since thought that there is a bunny patch under the deck...but bunnies will not spray you when they are frightened. 

Option Two (Slightly more likely): Call Animal Control
We are hesitant to do this.  This will cost money, probably a lot more than the cage did. I'm also almost positive whoever comes will tell us some of the bushes/flowers near his hole will have to be removed.

Option Three (Becoming more and more likely): "Here Lies Stinky, Ex-Skunk"

Because of the stink factor, we'd only really have one method of killing our little friend, and that would be poisoning the bait. Now, I've been hesitant to resort to this.  There is no real reason why the skunk should have to die...but sadly, it does have to go. The problem with this is we now have a dead skunk under the shed, which will then require some cutting into the floor of the shed, or replacing all of the flooring in the shed (that's all my dad...seems like a dumb plan to me). And, of course, if it is a momma skunk, by default that means killing any baby kits that may or may not be in the burrow.

But HOPEFULLY this next trap will work, and HOPEFULLY we can transport it without getting sprayed (that could change my feelings on the whole...death...issue), but going out there every night and watching this thing do the same damn routine night after night is proving to be quite pointless.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day Six of the Great Skunk War

That, my friends, is what a skunk trap looks like after it has been OVERTURNED, and stripped of it's bait by the skunk you are trying relentlessly to capture.

The more knowledge we gather about skunks and the more we think about the situation, the more we think that he is a she.

The plan tonight?

Another chicken finger (with peanut butter) in the bigger cage. My dad and I will both be on the clubhouse to observe, assuming it doesnt go in the trap, and then I will try to follow it for as long as I can. Then we will move the trap outside of the enclosure and put it where we think it has best chance of being used. It will also be weighted down with a rock.

What we think happened is that it went in to get the chicken wing, but was bigger than the cage, so when the door closed it just thrashed about until the cage was off. Tonight that shouldn't happen.

Come on back later for Part 2, after the skunk's 9:15 excursion.


Part Two: Proceeding With Caution

Once again, 9:15.  Only this time, he stayed in back of the bush that blocks his hole for a few minutes.  May dad and I were both on the clubhouse this time, anticipating where he would go.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what the skunk was planning on.

He stayed in the enclosure for a good 3-5 minutes. Tonight we could barely see him. It had rained, so the leaves were still wet making him harder to hear.  He managed to silently make a tunnel through the leaves that plugged the fence hole, and then, hugging the fence, moved around the back of the shed.

His only mistake was hitting the bush that overflows the enclosure; that caused both of us to think he might have gotten out undetected.  After that I jumped down and moved into the open part of our yard behind the shed area, trying to see if he was around there.  Right before I jumped down, however, I saw a patch of black run down the length of the property line between our trees and the neighbor's yard.  I gave a big point for my dad as I ran around to get in my new (out-of-spray-range) position.

A few seconds later I heard two small whimpers from my porch.  It seamed that my mother managed to come outside undetected as well.  As we did the first time this happened, both of us ran to where she was sitting on the deck.

The object I saw running down the property line was indeed that furry little bastard.  He then came along the deck area, only to retreat around the time my mom saw him.

After that he vanished like a fart in the wind.

He was expecting us this time, and he was very careful to change directions, thinking we might have been over where he was last night.

The new, larger trap is outside the enclosure tonight, so once again we turned on the security lights.  We don't want any other animals getting themselves caught in the trap, and we know that the SKUNK isn't scared of the light anymore.I'm not sure how well that trap is going to work now, because I'm fairly certain the skunk realizes that.....

I will check again when I go to bed if anything looks disturbed...which it probably won't.  Come back tomorrow as the Skunk Saga has officially reached a week.

(Actually, we think the skunk was there last summer as well, but he was undetected, and we do not rule out the summer before.  Last year our dog was no longer around, and the year before last he wasn't going that far out in the backyard.  The theory behind this is that, since this was the perfect burrow last year, the skunk isn't willing to give it up, not when it is this close to the time it needs to lock down for the winter. )

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Great Skunk War- Day 5

July 7th- 5:29pm

Part One: Spy Games
He's back...again, and by the looks of things, he is getting more aggressive.

 Just blew right on through those rocks, didn't we?  That wire fence? I weighed it down with the rocks...and it was under dirt.  As for our trap?

 Empty...besides the two sardines left in it...I guess our little friend doesn't eat fish. (We are working on a name for him, by the way.)

He also expanded his front porch a little bit:

 But all of this is ok.  We have a new plan for this evening.  Besides filling in the hole a little...I'm going to be trying a new plan of attack.  My father and I agree that new bait is needed, but we haven't decided on where to put the trap.  Putting it outside of the enclosure brings us the risk of catching something other than the skunk.  So, as of this moment, we haven't come to an agreement on where our trap should go.  Needless to say, it would be nice to have multiple traps...but it turns out that these little guys are $30 a pop. Tonight's bait will be a chicken finger smeared with peanut butter...I may throw an Oreo in there for good measure.

But, tonight i have a new goal...and a new Crow's Nest:

 My trusty clubhouse. it sits directly across from the enclosure, and the area of the fence that our furry friend seems to think is the easiest way out.

I am going to sit up here and wait.  It will probably be long...and will probably be boring.  But by sitting here i will see where he goes.  I won't try to stop him, but I might follow him after he moves a long a bit.  All we know is usually leaves the yard on the right side. With my Maglite in hand, I will wait for the enemy to show himself.

This post will be updated...check back later.

This is an all out war.


Part Two: Quiet as a...skunk


That's the wake-up bell, it seems.  9:15, just about on the dot is when that skunk comes out from under our shed. It has been 9:15 each of the last four nights, and it was again tonight.  I cluttered the skunk's burrow in leaves, and did the same for the hole under the fence, so I would be able to hear when that little guy was moving around.

And it just barely worked.

This thing is quiet.  As in, barely noticeable, quiet. He barely made a sound going through those leaves!  And I made a BRIER out of those leaves!

It inspected the cage, but had no interest in going inside. I didn't think to bring a camera outside, but I suppose I could have. My plan, you see, was to let him do his thing and just follow him a safe distance, to see where he goes.  But, unfortunately, he started heading straight for my dad, who felt he needed to blast him with his Maglite.  I still followed him, but he quickly disappeared into our neighbor's bushes. And something about two people rumaging around in your backyard just seems a bit too creepy for me.

We think the main reason he is uninterested in the cage is because of it's size.  Tonight was the first time we got a really good look at him.  This thing is HUGE!  And it's tail looks like just another body waddling along behind it, and there is no way that this cage could house both the skunk and his tail.  Tomorrow, we are upgrading.

Our fear is that he is, in fact, a she. And that she is a mom-to-be, and that is why she refuses to give up her prime spot. We can only hope that this is not the case.

Bring on Day Six.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Operation: Skunk-Day 4

July 6th-Day Four
 Part One- He's back, and he's pissed off.

Well would you look at this:

Two planks of wood decking?  Child's play for our furry friend. He simply expanded his hole, and then pushed rocks out of the way to make a new hole. This is not a defeat, this is motivation!

Reinforcements! And...

Ace in the hole? This is the non-lethal trap we are putting in the middle of the enclosure, which looks like so, by the way:

  The trap will be placed in the center right next to that bird hotel(...that's right...hotel) with a couple of sardines at the far end.  The trap is designed to catch a multitude of critters, most of which are smaller than a skunk. So to make sure our friend gets himself in all the way, the one door will be closed, that is the side where the sardines will be.  In the middle is a plate where you're supposed to put the food, but we will not be doing that. Instead the one end of the plate will be propped up, so it can only be tripped from one end.  The skunk can only spray if he gets his tail up, and that ceiling is too short to accommodate this function...we hope.

Sounds like a pretty decent plan, no? As far as the trap's effectiveness goes...well I guess we will just have to wait and see, now won't we...

Pat Two: Inconceivable!!!!


I have just checked the trap.  It is intact, exactly where I left it. We left his hole uncovered and the security lamp unplugged...we want him out, not to be scared back in for the night.

I don't have a picture, but that little bastard just dug right around my newly reinforced fence!  And by dug around, I mean he uncovered the buried end of the wire fence...and BENT it upward to get underneath it (a skunk needs 4 inches to get through...we've done our research). That beast is out there right now and there isn' t a damn thing I can do to keep him in. At night he could attack from any direction!  He clearly is angered and won't go down without a fight.

New bait tomorrow...something with peanut butter.

He's goin' down. We'll cement his ass in if we have to!

And if all else fails:

Just um...ignore that part at the end...that won't happen to us. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Operation: Remove Skunk From Under Shed

Well hello again, world.

I have been quite busy the last month, blogging away for, which you should have already checked out given my previous post.  And although I will still be putting a lot of work into that site, I felt the need to tell you all an exciting little story from my unemployed summer.

As the title implies, my family discovered a skunk living underneath the shed in my backyard.  The following is the breakdown of our plan thus far.

Day One- Saturday, July 3rd- Approx. 8:00pm

I was walking down my lengthy backyard to observe the fireworks I heard in the distance.  They had been obstructed by the trees on the side of my yard, and I was walking toward more open ground. While I was passing my shed...I heard scratching.

For a while we have suspected that a rabbit had burrowed under the shed. For this reason (as well as the multitude of squirrels and rabbits that call our yard home) we had long since enclosed the flower garden next to the shed in small wire fencing.

When I took a flashlight to this area, however, I saw something crawling in the hole my father recently blocked with plastic.  It was black and white.

Day Two- Sunday, July 4th

The next morning, we discovered that a hole had been dug under the plastic laid atop the skunk's hole. From there, we not only filled-in said hole, but filled in any weak spots in the rock wall/fence that surrounded the garden.

My dad installed a small door into the fence, blocking off the other side (where it appeared the skunk exited the enclosure). The goal of this was to insure that the skunk went out the door, so it could be closed off, effectively blocking the skunk out of the garden. Our hope was that skunk would get the idea of "Better abandon that burrow!".  No such luck.

My dad sat outside and waited for the skunk to leave.  When it did, he chased it (from a distance) out of the backyard, and closed off the gate. With no idea when the skunk would return, we ended the mission for the evening (After making sure the shed perimeter was secure, and that the skunk's hole was blocked).

Day 3- Monday, July 5th- Revenge of the Skunk
 Part One: Upping Our Game

The morning brought bad news. The skunk had returned to his home underneath the shed.  The small beast dug a hole underneath the fence, and then again underneath the blockade of his hole. With no fear of the nocturnal animal coming out in the day light, we set-up a security light that had been kicking around the shed on the wall facing the garden, reinforced the perimeter with a stronger rock set-up, and fresh, compacted dirt. The motion-sensitive light was set to go off in one-minute bursts, however, it wasn't going to be plugged in just yet.

The plan of attack for the evening was as follows: The door to the garden was once again left open, to be closed once the skunk was seen outside the enclosure. Once the skunk was out, we would turn on the security light, and cover the hole with some spare wood-decking.My dad also laid out some flour, in the hopes that it would help us track the skunk.

Part Two: The Skunk Strikes Back

The plan played out very quickly, thanks to some very lucky timing on our part.  My parents had set up chairs near the deck, facing the shed. Around dusk, they took their positions at the Crow's Nest. After about ten minutes of waiting, out popped the skunk, right on schedule, and he began to notice that he was trapped, having exited the wrong side of the garden, away from our door.

I joined the party shortly after this. After waiting for a few minutes, we decided that I should try to circle the yard to get a look at the other side of the garden.  Armed with a Maglite, a set off.

I moved very slowly, and very quietly.  Getting sprayed by a skunk was not on my agenda for the evening. I was about two steps from where I could see the shed when I heard a blood-curdling scream come from behind me. It was my mother.

My immediate thought was that there was some sort of intruder in the house.  I turned off the light, moved it to, what I'd like to call, Billy Club Position, and sprinted for the house. As I approached I heard my mother yelling something about being sprayed. She was not, but apparently the skunk managed to bypass our security forces, loop around the deck, and brush right up against her, before jetting off into the blackness. A warning, it seemed.

My father and I immediately ran to the garden.  There, on the backside of the garden, was a freshly-made hole under the fence.

That sneaky little bastard.

I plugged up the hole, while my dad set up the lamp, and covered the hole to the burrow. I then did a sweep of my entire yard and adjacent neighbor's yards (which I'm sure must have looked very creepy from inside their homes), in the hopes of finding the little rascal. No such luck.

We all went inside, for once again, we had no idea how long it would be before the skunk returned.  It also appeared that he was onto us, and wasn't going to give up his comfy home without a fight.

Part Three: The Day Isn't Over Yet

As I wrote this, I went downstairs for an ice cream cone.  It was then my dad saw the security light go off. A quick sprint (with Maglites in hand) and we were scanning the area for our furry-little friend. Nothing.  Once again, we went inside.

That is where the mission currently stands. Here is the plan for the following days:

If tomorrow, we see evidence that the skunk has returned to his little home, we will lay out one non-lethal trap. If it is caught, we will drive the little bastard to a park a few miles away, and release him. If the trap proves unsuccessful, well...then the plot thickens, doesn't it?

I'll be back tomorrow, with pictures from the battlefield.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Head over to The WordBRIDGE Blog!

Hello Friends,

So for the next few weeks I'll be running the WordBRIDGE blog and video updates from WordBRIDGE 2010 in Clemson South Carolina. I'll be posting multiple entries and videos everyday, so make sure you head over there!

I say this, because this unfortunately means I will not be updating this blog for the next few weeks. But, this is a great organization that needs your support. Head over to

for the blog, head to the main site

for more into on the Company. And, of course, follow us on Twitter. (name: wordbridge)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

YouTube Travels: Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

This fact was established long, long ago. Cats: pompous, vicious...evil. Dogs? Just...funny.  If nothing else, they are that. Here is evidence of my well-spent morning:


Alright,'s one for you Cat People Out there...

Adorable, aren't they?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Paid for Blogging?

Now this is something i will have to explore.  And I shall do so by posting this sentence;

Have a break, have a manatee

 We shall see what comes of this.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Partial Theories on Lost

Well, here it is: tomorrow. I've been doing a lot of thinking about said finale and the one thing I've decided is this. It is impossible to believe you have it all figured out a day out of this finale. That being said however,  I do have a few thoughts, for those of you who care about this sort of thing. 

But before we get to all that...favorite line from last night?

Frank: Don't bother me!
Ben:...Sounds like they're making progress.

With that out of the way...theories:

Well, let's start with the obvious, shall we? Those of you who were quick jump on the 'everyone's dead, what a cop out!!' bandwagon, just back it up a second. Christian said, when Jack asked the question, that some people died before him, and some after.  Therefore, logic would tell me that one thing is for sure: The Island Timeline is 'real life'.  Right, so what the hell is Flash-Sideways about?

The word people seem to think was missing from last night's finale was 'Heaven'. They're all going to Heaven because they're all dead, except for Ben, who is remaining in Purgatory, which, in turn, makes The Island Hell...I don't think so.

Let's examine, for a minute, The Flash-Sideways. In this 'alternate reality', what's wrong with these character's lives? Nothing. The Sideways Time Line is, for the most part, ideal. But to really understand it, lets get a tad more specific, shall we? Let's look at Jacob's Candidates:

Locke- Has Helen. Without a doubt, the biggest difference between the time lines, and really, the only one that matters.  That, and how he lost his ability to walk. As it turn's out, ol' pops isn't half bad after all, in this wonderful little world.

Hurley- Seemingly runs the world. Incredibly successful and is the self-proclaimed, 'Luckiest Man In The World'.

Sawyer- Forms an all-star Detective team with Miles. The important change here is that he is on the right side of the law, and has someone else who depends on him

Sayid- Well, he isn't with her...but at least Nadia is still alive, and she still needs him.

Jack- Has a son and is on great terms with his ex-wife, Juliet.

Jin/Sun- Very...very...happily together, though not married.

These are the differences matter.  All of the candidates have someone that depends on them.  And sure, minus a few aspects here and there, they all have happy existences. What I'm trying to get at is this:

They are all leading lives that have the criteria opposite from what they did before.  This is important because their flawed existences where nobody depended upon them is what made them Jacob's Candidates.

The other important aspect of the Flash-sideways is that The Island has sunk. When, nobody can be sure. Therefore, i'd venture to guess that this other reality is more or less...timeless...maybe...

So what's the scene in the Church?

I think it is possible that this other timeline is happening after everyone involved has died. NOT IN THE CRASH.  I've heard this sentence all over the place today by people who clearly have not been paying attention AT ALL, and it has been driving me to the point of raging madness.

Christian told Jack some people died before him, some people died after him. So they did not all die at once. Another quote that proves this is: "You were a great Number Two." Hurley and Ben's interaction shows us that Hurley's duration as Protector of the Island has come and gone.  Which happened after Jack died.

Now, The Church.

 Lost has always shown symbolism from multiple religions, most notably Christianity and Buddhism. Because Damon and Carlton stated they wanted the end to be left open for interpretation, which, by the way, is the only way the show could end while staying true to itself, I think they made the end ambiguous so you didnt' have to conform into believing everyone went to Heaven at the end, which many on the web have been quick to think today. Here's what i least for the moment:

At the end we have two main groups of people.  The Redeemed and The Condemned. Those that were in the church at the end of the episode were the people who were 'redeemed', they have made up for their faults and their wrongdoings and therefore, their souls are allowed to 'move on'...whatever you want that to mean.

The Flash-Sideways, therefore, would be this 'Other life' that Desmond has always talked about seeing people in.

The Condemned, as stated by Michael in "Everybody loves Hugo", must roam the island as the whispers. They did not make up for their faults.

Now this is where my idea gets a little tricky: Ben.

Ben was offered the chance to come into the church.  Therefore, redeemed. Except one person doesn't think Ben is deserving of redemption: Ben. Ben CHOSE not to enter the church.  He came with everyone else, but just remained outside.

However, what did Ben do to get himself redeemed that Michael didn't?  Now, yes, i understand that Harold Perrineau's departure from the show and all the drama there is probably the main factor for him, same with Mr. Eko.  But Mr. Eko said he was not sorry for what he had done before he died. church for the man with The Jesustick?

But Michael only killed two people, and betrayed the survivors...but he came back, he came back and helped everyone get off the island. Ben killed tens, possibly over a hundred people, and allowed his own daughter to be shot. He also killed Jacob, Protector of The Island.  Yes, it was awesome when he saved Hurley...but does this one good deed redeem everything else? I'm not sure. As I said, I'm still trying to work everything out in my head...but slowly.  These are just theories I've thought about today, without even a second viewing yet, so don't be too harsh, ok? But aside from overall meanings lets talk about last night some more.

Damon and Carlton did a great job. As with the rest of the series, I thought that writing was 100% on point. As for the performances...the best they have ever been.  Charlie seeing Claire on the stage? Incredible.  And how about that rock fight, huh?  it felt ike the ultimate Hero Vs Villain situation. It felt like the last twenty minutes of a Bond film. What I'm trying to get at is that the whole episode felt like a movie.

If...I were to make one change.  I would have switched a few lines around.  Remember when Jack pushed MIB off the dock a few episodes ago with the line of "John Locke told me I had to stay."  Well how cool would that fight have been if Jack kicked him off the cliff with that line?!

But, that is simply my own little idea. I thought the scene was expertly executed the way it was, that's just another, equally awesome route they could have taken.

The choice to have Vincent stay with Jack at the end, richard' first gray hair...Brilliant. The writing last night was perfect.  They were very careful to give Lost an ending that stayed true to the way they wrote the rest of the show, and I think they did that.

I think the show deserves Emmy noms and Emmy wins for Best Drama Series this year.  I think Michael Emerson, and Terry O'Quinn deserve best Supporting Actor noms, although they will both be defeated by John Lithgow in Dexter. They were incredible...but they each have one, and Lithgow was just off the charts. However, it really is time Matthew Fox landed in the Best Actor category, yes?  I'm not saying he's got it in the bag, but I think he should be nominated. And I'm positive the writing for "The End" will take home some gold.

I'll continue to flush out my ideas some more, but it is very hard. There are plenty of questions and topics I haven't covered...but I'm getting a bit lengthy here.  So questions like What is Vincent? What was the Hurley/Ben administration like? How did Jacob get off the island?-These will all just have to wait.

I'll miss it, I really will. True, there are some big questions I still want answers to, but last night was incredibly satisfying to this die-hard fan.  I've been obsessed with stories my whole life, and this has been one the best ones ever told...I truly believe that.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Initial Reactions to The End

Well, if there's anything that we've learned from this final episode of Lost, it is this:

Vincent was everyone's favorite character.

However, one of the happiest moments of the episode, for me, was the appearance of one of my favorite characters, who i feel has been mostly forgotten over the course of the show: Boone.

I will make another post tomorrow describing my theories about The Finale after I've had a good day to think about it. Because that is not what I am relishing in right now.  Right now I'm relishing something else: the memories.

I remember, the night we saw Christian Shepard standing across the beach from Jack, I came upstairs and sat at my desk, and I looked out my bedroom door and I thought I saw a man in a suit standing at the other side of the hallway.  I remember jumping clear out of my seat, and being scared of the dark for the week that followed.

I remember drawing an equation of the Numbers, figuring out some theory that has long since left my mind, on Mr. DeSantis' blackboard during a study hall.

I remember when i saw the first ad for the show and I said: 'Looks like a great TV Movie, I don't know how they'll make it last.'

I remember the chills I got when I heard the phrase "It's been playing on a loop for sixteen years".  And when I heard that "We're the good guys, Michael".  I remember when i cried: When charlie died, When Desmond Called Penny, When Alex was shot, and I'm sure a few more.

I remember being blown away by what was in the Hatch...and that there were more. I couldn't even hope to list the other times I was blown away.

I remember when I thought Vincent was Jacob.  I remember when I thought Vincent was the Smoke Monster.

Yes, I remember the brief period in which I thought the Monster may be a dinosaur.

I will always remember Lost.  It is, without a doubt, the break-through show on Television of the last decade. It re-created ABC's reputation. It turned has-beens into Superstars. It made each episode feel like a movie.

And that is exactly what the finale felt like.  The movie that capped it off.

Those of you who loved it, go to sleep. Enjoy it, relish in it.  Just stay off your computer, don't let the other side spoil the night.  Those of you who hated it.  Good for you, enjoy your opinions, don't rain on everyone else's parade.

I just wish I could see how Hurley and Ben ran the Island...but we can talk about all that tomorrow. Get some sleep, dry your tears, and I'll come back tomorrow and try to break this thing down a bit. But for right now, I'm taking my own advice, and enjoying this moment. Goodnight all, see you tomorrow.

"I have seen the Heart of this Island...and it is good."-John Locke

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Top 25 Most Unfrogettable Moments of 'Lost'

 See, promised it would happen.  Lost, in many ways, got me through High School, and I know I'm not alone on that one. Now this old friend will be leaving us. Remember when we found out Jack was supposed to die in the first episode? Ah, memories.

Well, I've changed my mind from my original idea.  Here's what I will do now.

Here is my list of the Top 25 Most Unforgettable Moments on Lost.  Get your tissues now. Unfortunately, I was unable to get moments for every character, most notably Mr. Eko.  I know, I know! I tried, believe me I did. But I just couldn't get him on here.  If I made a #26, is would be Mr. Eko Meets The Monster...but nobody likes a Top 26 list.I picked the picture as his honorable mention.

Nevertheless, I think most will be happy with my list.  Perhaps you'd switch the order around a bit, but I think any Lost fan will enjoy reliving these moments in preparation for Sunday's big night.

 I was unable to make a slide show, so for the full dramatic effect, I'd move slowly. But that's just me.

Enjoy yourselves.

25.) Hurley and Libby
Over the years, Lost has showed us some great relationships. But I don't think any are as heartbreaking as Hurley and Libby. Their romance was short-lived...very short-lived.  I guess that's what happens when you get yourself kicked off a TV show. This moment on the cliff, right after Dave (one of the best minor characters, in my opinion) jumps over the edge, stands as the definitive moment of their relationship.


24.) Seeing the Statue
There has been some big questions that sneaked themselves in there unexpectedly, and the first appearance of The Statue is perhaps the definitive example of this technique on Lost. Literally coming out of nowhere, this short scene kept us guessing at the answer for literal years.


23.) Ben Moves The Island
A wonderful moment alone with one of the best actors on the show. This scene would leave us very confused over the season break. Still so many questions exist about The Wheel.  We know that The Man In Black had the idea, but who finished it? Why is it so cold?  What effect does it have on The Heart of The Island? Why is the person who moves it transported to the Tunisian Desert? All these questions spawned from this unforgettable scene.

The clip also has the beginning of the next episode, but it was the only one I could find with an embedding ability.


22.) The Death of Juliet Burke
Perhaps the standout scene from Season Six, not counting The Finale of course. It took me a long time to like Juliet, but I don't think anyone was ready for her to die, especially not Sawyer.  A painful goodbye.  


21.) The 'Live Together, Die Alone Speech'
 The moment that Jack took control of the Losties. Without a doubt one of the most memorable quotes from the series. A small side note, I tried to find a way to get Boone into this list, but he, like Eko, just couldn't make the cut.  So his appearance in the clip serves as good shout-out to him.

20.) The Reunion
 There has been many 'reunions' on Lost but none compares to when the Talies and The Losties were reunited, specifically Rose and Bernard. 

19.) Sawyer Tells Jack About His Father
 Sawyer and Jack have not had many bonding moments, and that makes Sawyer's story all the more touching. For a long time the 'Lost Connections' were not known to the castaways, and this was perhaps the first real reveal in the series.

The embedding didn't work so take a quick detour:

18.) Ben Kills Jacob
 In one episode we were introduced and then had to say goodbye (sort of) to a character we'd been speculating about for ages. What's most memorable about this to me is not the actual killing so much as Ben's speech to Jacob. The man who is always in control and always has a plan, is left utterly hurt and low. Michael Emerson, this show owes you a lot.

17.) The Death of Alex Linus
No one could believe that it happened. Nobody knew what to say. Audiences everywhere, I imagine, could only sit in disbelief.

Once again, YouTube fails me.  Here's the link: 

16.) Jacob's Cabin
For a very long time the world was convinced that mysterious figure who, for a moment, appears in that chair was Jacob.  Now, with one episode left, we still do not know who this Shadowy Figure is. At the time, popular belief was that it was Alvar Hanso, leading of The Hanso Foundation who sponsored the Dharma Initiative. then again, that was when we thought understanding Dharma was the key to this show. I believe that Locke was a popular candidate for the figure as well  Oh how wrong we were... This is one of the chief questions I hope will be answered on Sunday.


15.) Michael Kills Ana Lucia and Libby
 If I were to have made a list of the most shocking moments on Lost, this would probably be number one.  No one. No one expected this.

14.) Who's In The Coffin
 Without a doubt this was the biggest question between the season three finale and this moment. The answer was hard to accept, and we wouldn't really understand the answer until the beginning of season six.

13.) Locke Falls
 Ever since we answered the question of Who Was in The Wheelchair, I think the biggest question did he get there.  And, in true Lost fashion, we found out with a jolt. the end is slightly cut off, my apologies. 

12.) The Man From Tallahassee
 Throughout the episode we wondered just who was 'the Man From Tallahassee. the answer sent everyone theorizing for the rest of the week as to how he got there, but raised the bigger question: How did the others become so powerful, and how do they have this power off the island?

11.) "Let's Just See What's Gonna Happen"
 You could only say the phrase 'Push the button' so many times before anyone who had seen a small clip of the show would want to know what happens when you don't push it.  Eventually we got the answer, but in this moment, the taste Damon and Carlton gave us intrigued us more than anything we could have hoped for.

10.) Henry Gale
For a long time after we found out his real name, everyone still refused to call Ben anything other than Henry Gale. We never got to learn the story of the real Henry Gale, but Sayid's introduction made a lasting impression. 

9.) The Light In The Hatch
 For me, this is one of the defining moments of John Locke's character, and one of the first things I think about when I hear the word 'Hatch'. Throughout the first season all anyone wanted to know was what was in that hatch.  The answer, of course, was even more memorable, but this taste intrigued us and reinvigorated our friend Mr. Locke. 

8.) "Got Any Milk?"
 Before we found out that our good friend Henry Gale was not named Henry Gale, we more or less found out in this wonderful clip. It is also worth noting that it was this scene that convinced Damon and Carlton that they needed to sign Michael Emerson for a long-term contract, and not any of this three-episode nonsense. True story.

7.)  Desmond Calls Penny
 The ranking of this could be disputed, I would guess. However this must be one of, if not the most heartwarming moment in the show.  i clearly remember crying, and I'm not the least bit ashamed to say it. Pure joy, that's what this clip is.  Unfortunately, YouTube is not letting me embed any of the clips.  So here's another link, i know you wpn't skip it.

6.) "We're The Good Guys, Michael"
 Perhaps the quote is more memorable than the scene, but considering Lost ran a billboard campaign that was all black with just this quote in white lettering...I think it is safe to say it is worth it's rank.  I apologize for the alterations made to the scene. 

5.) The Death of Charlie Pace
 Charlie.  A beloved character from the very beginning.  Another scene at which I cried and am not the least bit ashamed. There's no real way to enjoy the clip

4.) The Others Take Walt
The first huge bombshell lost threw at us. Everyone was shocked, everyone was talking about it, everyone had theories. I think the theories are what i'll miss most about Lost, all the plotting and planning and speculating. I remember after The Numbers episode drawing a huge diagram with equations involving the numbers on a blackboard during a study hall. Oh, those were the days...but I digress. 


3.) Season 2 Intro.
 Throughout the scene I speculated that the man we saw was Jack, or perhaps Sawyer. And, if memory serves, i think I tossed the name Boone out there. It was a very happy-go-lucky start to the show's sophomore year...until, of course, everyone was shocked beyond belief. Best season opener...without a doubt.  Not to mention Mama Cass' sales shot up immensely following the episode...I certainly contributed. "Make Your Own Kind of Music" remains one of my favorite songs...purely based on the memory of this episode.

2.) Walkabout
 In my opinion, 'Walkabout' remains the best episode of Lost, with some close competition of course.  The Walkabout scene, however, remains one of the first moments that we knew we would be with this show til the bitter end.  No bombshell can compare to the one dropped in this scene... except maybe, the next one.

1.) "We Have to Go Back" 
I've seen many parodies and mockeries of this quote and this scene. My typical response is a polite chuckle, concealing my inner laughter at the fool's lack of understanding of the scene (not to mention my rage at their blatant disrespect for great writing and acting). This reveal turned everything we knew about Lost on it's head, and made damn sure that everyone knew 'getting off the island' was not the point of the show. It also, for me, changed how I felt about Jack. Just...go ahead and enjoy the whole thing.

So that's my list folks.  Try to keep it together Sunday, alright?  I mean, don't call me for comfort...because I guarantee I'm going to be a mess.  I have nothing but love for this show, and it'll be very hard to say goodbye.