Thursday, January 31, 2008

Candidate Matching Quiz

This is admittedly a shocker. I've never even considered Bill Richardson, not that it even matters anymore. But personally, I am still a Hillary fan.

71% Bill Richardson
70% Barack Obama
70% Chris Dodd
69% Hillary Clinton
69% John Edwards
66% Joe Biden
64% Dennis Kucinich
62% Mike Gravel
46% Rudy Giuliani
43% Mitt Romney
38% John McCain
35% Tom Tancredo
35% Fred Thompson
28% Mike Huckabee
28% Ron Paul

http://www.gotoquiz.com/candidates/2008-quiz.html">2008
Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blizzard

Last night between the hours of 7:30-9:00, a blizzard happened upon Chicago. I say it this way because we entered the Lookingglass Theatre to see Hephaestus last night around 7PM and we exited the theatre around 9:15 to a completely different looking city. Essentially, it looked like this:



We got lucky that our bus came right away. However, while running toward the bus, I slipped on some ice and The BF turned around just in time to see me slam face first into the side of the bus. I gots class, see!

And btw - Hephaestus is very cool. Performers from the Wallenda Family, Ringling Bros. and Cirque du Soleil join forces in this show about Greek God Hephaestus who, after popping out of the womb a weakling, is cast out of the heavens by his mother, Hera (like she should judge - she married her brother after all). Landing in the sea, Hephaestus went on to become a steel-welding artist. Circus, theatre, music and dance make for a very entertaining show. It's a 4 Stars Must-See, I say.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Miss America Sucks

Caught a little of the 2008 Miss America Pageant over the weekend. It seems the Miss America Corporation has been spending a lot of time, money, and effort trying desperately to revamp the Miss America image to re-attract a waning public and reach out to younger viewers. My opinion:

Hated it!

The pageant was the finale to a several weeks-long reality show called Miss America Reality Check where all 52 girls (including Miss DC and Miss Virgin Islands) all lived in a house for a few weeks and tried in vain to update their traditional big-haired, over made-up, mega-sequined, toothy selves. They had makeovers, practiced new walking techniques, even attempted question & answer sessions - each attempt a struggle to recreate Miss America into a contemporary young role model.

You know who ended up being crowned Miss America? The contestant who was probably the most big-haired, over made-up, maxi-sequined, toothy blonde: Kirsten Haglund from Michigan. Her evening gown looked like Liberace's drapery shears.

Hated it!

Her talent? I think she sung "Over the Rainbow", but she went flat so many times, it was hard to tell - what you could hear of it anyway (for an aspiring Broadway performer, she's got a pretty weak upper register). Kirsten was probably the most traditional looking candidate of the group. In one fell swoop, the 7 judges undid what an entire corporation was struggling to achieve. I don't think Michigan's gown was the prettiest, nor, certainly, was she the most talented. She won on looks, because she LOOKS like Miss America - like Miss America has ALWAYS looked.

But enough about her. Back to the pageant itself. The host this year was Mark Steines from Entertainment Tonight, who was either very nervous or just sucks at live television. He dropped more lines than T-Mobile. He was frequently awkward and horrible at ad-libbing. Yeah yeah yeah, he's married to a former Miss America. Yippee-freaking-skippy. So as a host?

Hated it!

And you know what else sucked? The entire pageant.

The field of contestants was narrowed down from 52 to 15. Oops, excuse me, 16. The judges chose 15. The happy thumb-jockeys at home chose one additional. So can you guess which one the judges are not going to move along as one of the 10 semi-finalists? Yep - the one they didn't choose in the first place.

And the judges actually didn't move 10 women into the semi-finals. They chose the 6 who would NOT advance. Steines was mucho apologetic and griped several times about how he hates his job, and then announced one by one the 6 women who were eliminated. Example:
Steines: And here's why I hate my job so much - to have to do this. The next contestant who will not be moving ahead and will have to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and move on . . .(dramatic pause) . . . Miss Minnesota.

Entire audience: AAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
[insert Debbie Downer music here]

It gets better.

The just-cut semi-finalists don't get to go backstage and cry a little. No, no. That's too traditional. Instead, they get to stay on stage and join the other losers on risers and sit there throughout the rest of the show. And to add insult to injury, Clinton Kelly from TLC's What Not To Wear is over there to cheer them up and give them doughnuts.

What nuts??

Doughnuts.

He called it a carb fix, which is not to imply that any of the contestants could possibly have an eating disorder.

The whole thing looked like a high school production. With the exception of adding a DJ to spin all the music on stage (what intern thought THAT up?), there was nothing modern about the pageant. Beauty (oops, sorry . . . Scholarship) pageants have been losing popularity steadily for the last several years. In a world of video games, Wii's, Playstations and X-boxes, pageants just aren't interesting anymore. The whole thing is sexist and degrading and frankly I'm shocked it's been around as long as it has. I originally started watching the reality show because I love a good cat fight. But these women are all so polite and polished, it was more like watching 52 Rebecca's on Sunnybrook Farm.

Miss America's years are numbered. I doubt it's around in 2013.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dop's Favourite New Magnet From . . . Kerry

At the airport the day after Christmas, The BF and I were sharing holiday stories and showing gifts when he looked at me and said, "Kerry sent you something."

Kerry is The BF's older sister. After hearing of each other for more than two years, Kerry and I finally got to meet last July when The BF and I attended the wedding of his college friend. Kerry is, for all intents and purposes, The BF in female format: cute, friendly, funny and intelligent with a goofy side. Basically, I loved her immediately.

So I opened up the gift she had sent along and this is what I got:

Kerry made it with her own little hands. It's a magnet of my favourite president, complete with stove pipe hat, beard, eyelids and - yes - mole! The BF has made a habit of getting me magnets whenever he/we travel someplace. And each one obtains a highly-coveted space on the fridge with a "DOP'S FAVORITE NEW MAGNET FROM KEVIN" designation. However, ol' Abe deserves a special spot of appreciation with his very own signage, recognizing his creator.

I've still no idea how she did it - but I'm pleased as punch that he greets me every morning at breakfast.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Museum of Science & Industry

We went to the Museum of Science and Industry today. There's one word to describe it: janktastic. As in, the place is janky. As in, the place needs a major overhaul. As in, major. I've never really been one interested in science or industry; things like agriculture and energy have just never interested me. So I was hoping that a visit to a museum - this museum of which I had heard so much - might sway me. But it didn't.

Some of the displays look to be around 30 years old. And even the displays that were newer seemed to be designed by the visual merchandiser of Dollar General. Many displays weren't even open (they were being overhauled for my "visual pleasure"), which could be why the museum is offering free admission for about 10 days. If you go now, you won't see much. And what you will see, looks like a bad 8th grade science project.

The U-505 Submarine tour was sold out for the day by 11:30 AM. The airplane tour, Idea Factory, ice cream factory, and coal mine tour were closed. The wait for the Pioneer Zephyr was 1 hour. The fairy castle (which seems to be a huge exhibit according to the MSI website) is merely a large dollhouse crammed into a tiny, dark room. The Earth Revealed exhibit is great, but only if you are seated in one exact location in the circular theater. The food court couldn't hold the number of people who chose to eat there; people were standing with trays waiting for tables to clear.

I'd never really wanted to go inside the museum, I guess, but rather see the outside of the building itself. MSI is the last vestige from the Columbian Exposition's World's Fair of 1893, which is really the most fascinating fact about MSI. Back then, it's name was the Palace of Fine Arts, and it's stood at its same location for the past 115 years or so. The only building to outlast the White City, imagine what it could say if its walls could talk.

And if they could, I'm sure they'd have something alot more interesting to say that what's being housed inside it today.
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Monday, January 21, 2008

One Letter Off

I see stuff like this and I realize how uncreative I am. I had friends in college who could instantly substitute one letter for another and make an otherwise normal, boring phrase into something witty. Here's one person's crack at it:


There's a website devoted to this and other kinds of Photoshop tricks (but I love this one because I think "the actor Nicolas Cage" is a bit of a douchebag). Enjoy.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rosy Petechiae

Once when I went to my dentist in DC for a routine cleaning, I asked the hygienist, Melissa, if she could tell if a man was gay based on the inside of his mouth. She looked at me and smiled, then got up and checked the hallway before sitting back down beside me. Then she told me about rosy petechiae.

I said, "That actually sounds more like a drag queen".

"Funny," Melissa said, "but actually rosy petechiae is a cluster of dark circles that form on the roof of the mouth. They occur when the roof of the mouth has been worn down. It's mostly seen in babies who are nursing or on a bottle, or in children who suck their thumbs for long periods of time. But, honey, it can also show up in men who are sucking on something else, if you get my meaning."

I loved Melissa.

I told her I love this, but I would never be able to remember that name, so she wrote it down on the back of her card for me:


I especially love her post script.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

20 Weird English Words

1. Erinaceous - Like a hedgehog

2. Lamprophony - Loudness and clarity of voice

3. Depone - To testify under oath

4. Finnimbrun - A trinket or knick-knack

5. Floccinaucinihilipilification - Estimation that something is valueless.

6. Inaniloquent - Pertaining to idle talk

7. Limerance - An attempt at a scientific study into the nature of romantic love.

8. Mesonoxian - Pertaining to midnight

9. Mungo - A dumpster diver - one who extracts valuable things from trash

10. Nihilarian - A person who deals with things lacking importance (pronounce the ‘h’ like a ‘k’)

11. Nudiustertian - The day before yesterday

12. Phenakism - Deception or trickery

13. Pronk - A weak or foolish person

14. Pulveratricious - Covered with dust

15. Rastaquouere - A social climber

16. Scopperloit - Rude or rough play

17. Selcouth - Unfamiliar, rare, strange, marvelous, wonderful. For example: The List Universe is such a selcouth website!

18. Tyrotoxism - To be poisoned by cheese

19. Widdiful - Someone who deserves to be hanged

20. Zabernism - The abuse of military power or authority (hello, George W. Bush)

And now for my current favorite word:

Defenestrate - To throw out a window.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

In This Case, Do NOT Spare 'The Rod"

Funding for mass transit in Chicago, for those of you who don't live in Chicago, has been a joke. For the past several months, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) who administers and governs Chicago mass transit, has given the city at least three deadlines that service will be cut, only to have the state government ride in at the last minute with a temporary funding package. The last deadline, scheduled for January 20th, requires a permanent plan to fund mass transit in Chicago - the same city that is trying to obtain the 2016 Olympics (not sure how a city can pull off an Olympics if it can't manage something as basic as mass transit).

Last week, a proposed plan to permanently fund and fix CTA's problems was passed through Illinois government, then sent to Governor Rod Blagojevich to sign and thus enact. Rod, however, has added a last minute spin. He'll sign it, as long as senior citizens are allowed to ride CTA free. This presents a problem: if the government accepts this addition, it takes on added costs to the already ballooned debt owed by CTA, and if the state denies this addition, state congressmen will appear to be the heartless people who wouldn't help out older constituents.

Shame on G-Rod!

Not only does this present an additional problem, but I don't see how making a public program available for free to a blanket group of people is either fair or ethical. Sure, in theory, is a lovely idea to help seniors out. But not all senior citizens are poor. I can see giving them a discount, but not a "free ride".

For that matter, why not extend the offer to disabled persons? Not all disabled persons need the financial help, so the government will then need to determine what constitutes a disability. There are some people who are mentally disabled who cannot work and could use a break such as this, just like there are some who are physically disable who can work and don't need the assistance.

And while we're at it, the lowest paid ethnic group of people in Chicago is the Latino community, so why don't they get the "free ride" addendum as well? Or is that the Polish-American community? Or the African-American community? Maybe we should just say "Anyone who earns under $15,000 a year should ride CTA for free".

The thing is, Rod's plan will probably pass because CTA is too necessary for Chicago (personally my bus route to work and home is one that will be cut). D-Day is next Sunday for Chicago. So either Rod gets his way, or I am walking to work from now on.
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Smoking Ban

I'm not sure how I feel about the new smoking ban that went into effect in Chicago on January 1. I mean, it will be nice to go out to a bar or club and not leave smelling like an ashtray. However, I don't go out that much these days so it doesn't affect me.

What DOES affect me is that now whenever I walk anywhere, I have to pass through smatterings of smokers who are cluttering up the sidewalks. A simple walk to the gym or grocery store makes me smell like I spent a few hours in a bar.

This ban was put into effect to help those who are out in bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. But, I'm not sure why I, as a pedestrian who is choosing not to go out, must now be subjected to something like this just so others can drink in a smoke-free atmosphere.

There are only two solutions that ultimately work now: ban smoking altogether, or send smokers to rooftops out of the lines of traffic.
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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Next Blond Male?

Kirk Douglas. Robert Redford. Brad Pitt. Jude Law. Leonardo DiCaprio. Matt Damon. Daniel Craig. Ryan Gosling.

In an industry dominated by dark-haired men, there have been so few blonds accepted to leap into our hearts, dreams, and fantasies. There are thousands of famous blond actresses, but I doubt there are 30 A-List blond actors in American cinematic history.

Hollywood seems to love blond women as much as it hates blond men. There's a whole school of thought that blond men are only cast as evil-doers. In a listing of the Top 50 Actors of All Time, only 4 of the 40 men listed are blonds. Interestingly, 7 of the 10 women on the list are blonds.

Personally I have a thing for brunettes (who are going prematurely grey, at that), but it kinda makes me wonder who the next hot blond will be, and when he will come along.
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Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007’s Most Memorable Remarks

Some famous, and in some cases last, words:

“I love gay. I wanted to be gay. Please let me be gay … I did not call T.R. a faggot.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Isaiah Washington on the Golden Globes red carpet, reigniting a controversy stemming from an on-set scuffle with co-star T.R. Knight, who is gay. Despite apologizing, Washington was eventually fired for his remarks. (Access Hollywood, Jan. 16)

“I’m going to be really honest right now, he needs to just not speak in public. Period … T.R. is my best friend. I will use every ounce of energy I have to take you down if you hurt his feelings.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” actress Katherine Heigl coming to T.R. Knight’s defense (Associated Press, Jan. 17)

“I am not a hero, I am not special in any regard. I am simply doing what a good person of principle and conscience should do, which is making people aware that gay people don’t just look like Jack from ‘Will & Grace,’ and that they don’t want to jump your bones every occasion, and that some are camp, and some are butch, and that’s we’re different, and useful and we are here.”
John Amaechi, becoming the first NBA player, active or retired, to announce he is gay (ESPN, Feb. 11)

“Well, you know, I hate gay people. I let it be known, I don’t like gay people. I don’t like to be around gay people. Yeah, I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world for that or in the United States for that. So, yeah, I don’t like it. First of all, I wouldn’t want [an openly gay athlete] on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, you know, I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that is right. … I don’t condone it. And if people got problems with it, I’m sorry. I’m saying I can’t stand being around that person, knowing that they sleep with somebody of the same sex.”
Former NBA star Tim Hardaway, reacting to Amaechi coming out (Feb. 14 & 15 radio interviews)

“K.T. is my life partner. K.T. stands for Kathy Travis. We’re going on seven years. I have never been with a man in my whole life. I’m still a 55-year-old virgin.”
Financial guru Suze Orman announcing she would like to get married so her lesbian partner can avoid paying estate taxes when Orman dies (New York Times Magazine, Feb. 25)

“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”
Author and pundit Ann Coulter, speaking at a national gathering of conservatives (CSPAN, March 2)

“I believe homosexual acts between two individuals is immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.”
Gen. Peter Pace, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlining his support of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (Chicago Tribune, March 12)

“Never once in my 54 years have I ever once heard a gay or lesbian person who’s politically active say one thing about anything that was not about them. They don’t care about minimum wage, they don’t care about any other group other than their own self because you know, some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing and sometimes I wonder. I’ve never heard any of them say anything except for ‘accept me ‘cause I’m gay.’ It’s just, it’s screwed … I don’t give a damn who anybody has sex with, as long as they’re not underage and an animal. I don’t give a damn, it’s none of my damn business. I’m just sick of all the divisiveness, it’s not getting any of us anywhere.”
Comedian Roseanne Barr, while co-hosting a California radio show (April 6)

“Don’t tell me you don’t want to talk about personal life when you wrote a book about your father’s death and your brother’s death. You can’t move this big mass of personal stuff out for public display, then people ask questions and you say, ‘Oh, no, I didn’t say there was going to be any questions.’ … Don’t tell me you can’t talk about your personal life and then, when they send you overseas and you do a report that consists of your voice-over and pictures of you in a custom-made, blue-to-match-your-eyes bulletproof vest, looking somberly at these scenes of human devastation — like a tourist — and that’s your report. Your shtick is your personal life.”
MSNBC anchor Keith Olberman taking a shot at CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who refuses to address rumors that he is gay (AfterElton, April 10)

“I like pin-up girls. I’m not lesbian though — not before a Sambuca, anyway.”
Singer Amy Winehouse on her interest in other women (Digital Spy, May 15)

“He’s very interested in what being gay is because so many of our friends are gay. When talking around your child you have to think very carefully and you have to be prudent about your choice of words. You talk about people looking for happiness and fulfillment in their lives, and how all families are different and look different. You’re forced to really consider your answers. You’re forced to think a lot about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it — even the tone.” Actress Sarah Jessica Parker on talking to her 4-year-old son, James, who has been asking questions about what “gay” means (azcentral.com, May 24)

“Words have power. The power to express love, happiness and joy. They also have the power to heal. When you use words that demean a person because of their sexual orientation, race or gender, you send a message of hate … We have the power to heal and change the world by the words we use.”
Actor Isaiah Washington’s public service announcement on ABC, part of his attempt to make amends for his slur against a fellow “Grey’s Anatomy” star (Associated Press, May 28)

“Those comments were from just one guy, and John Waters blew them right out of the water. There is nothing gay in this movie. I’m not playing a gay man. Scientology is not homophobic in any way, in fact it’s one of the more tolerant faiths. Anyone’s accepted.”
John Travolta addressing complaints by Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff that he should not have played a role in “Hairspray” (The Times, June 30)

“The majority no longer wanted the covering. For some, they said they were environmentally conscious and wanted to cut down on waste. For others, it was more of an out-and-proud issue.”
Michael Phelps, the publisher of The Advocate, explaining that the magazine would no longer be sent in a wrapper unless requested by the subscriber (New York Times, July 9)

“You know when we lost everything, it was the gay people who came to my rescue and I will always love them for that.”
Tammy Faye Messner in an appearance on Larry King Live shortly before her death (July 19)

“Thankfully, it wasn’t scandal, which would have been the worst. I’m not very scandalous. It sort of happened in a way that allowed me to make a statement, and squelch rumors, that was a pro-active affirmation, without it becoming a big, giant deal.”
Actor Neil Patrick Harris on what it was like to publicly come out (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 12)

“Merv Griffin was gay … Why should that be so uncomfortable to contemplate? Why is it so difficult to write? Why are we still so jittery even about raising the issue in purportedly liberal-minded Hollywood, in 2007? … How tremendously sad that a man of Merv’s considerable gifts, of his gregarious nature and social dexterity, would feel compelled to endure such a stealthy double-life … He certainly didn’t owe us any explanation, but you might conclude he owed it to himself to remove the suffocating veil he’d long been forced to hide behind.”
Writer Ray Richmond, memorializing TV icon Merv Griffin (Hollywood Reporter, Aug. 17)

“I think it’s a choice.”
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, while participating in a Democratic presidential debate on gay issues, responding to lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge’s question of whether Richardson thinks “a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that around seventh grade, we go, ‘Ooo, I want to be gay.’” (LOGO, Aug. 9)

“You know, I’m Hispanic. I felt the sting as a kid of being stereotyped. And I apologize, but I meant no harm when I said that.”
Richardson, clarifying his remarks, after being criticized by gay activists and organizations (Washington Blade, Aug. 17)

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot … Craig tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot … The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot … At 1217 hours, I saw Craig swipe his hand under the stall divider … At about 1219 hours, I held my police identification in my right hand down by the floor so that Craig could see it … Craig responded, ‘No!’”
Police report filed by Minneapolis Airport Officer Dave Karsnia (The Smoking Gun, Aug. 28)

“I am not gay, I never have been gay.”
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) responding to news about his arrest for soliciting sex in an airport bathroom (Fox News, Aug. 28)

“These events have provided an important opportunity for us to confront a difficult fact: There are good, decent, moral people in this country who do not yet embrace their gay brothers and sisters as full members of our shared community. We will not secure full equality for all LGBT Americans until we learn how to address that deep disagreement and move beyond it.”
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), responding to criticism he received for scheduling an appearance by “ex-gay” gospel singer Donnie McClurkin at a South Carolina event for Obama’s presidential campaign (Washington Blade, Nov. 16)
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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January 1


Why not start the year off with a look back. To understand what this blog entry is all about, click here:

2007 - No notes written. Must have been just a stay at home and relax day.

2006 - Sleep in with The BF.

2005 - Watch Garden State and Open Water with Ex#5. Have brunch at home and do laundry.

2004 - Stay at Ex#4's. Sleep in and order pizza. Watch Best of Molly Shannon on SNL.

2003 - Brunch with Bruce, David, Aaron, Gregg & Chuck. Drinking at JR's

2002 - Brunch with BFF Jeff and his boyfriend George. Sightsee around Mall and monuments. Meet friends for drinks at JR's

2001- Spent in Chicago (38" of snow), brunch at Chris and Todd's house, do some shopping, fly back to DC at 9:45 PM.

2000 - Sleep in, then join Gold's Gym for my resolution. Go to the Eagle with friend John for drinks.

1999 - Brunch with BFF Jeff and friend Rick. Drop Rick off at Metro then spend the day calling friends.

1998 - Sleep in with Ex#3, then have dinner at Boston Market.

1997 - Sick with the flu

1996 - Brunch at Peppers with Ron, Arlene, Jeet, Ryan and Kelly. Friend Arlene stays over a night.

1995 - Shop DuPont Circle and have lunch with Doug, call friend Kathy, see drag show at Ziegfeld's

1994 - Chuck rents room in my house senior year. Friend Ron calls from Egypt.

1993 - Drive to South Carolina to see Ex#2 while on winter break.

1992 - See JFK with Ex #2. Play Scrabble and plan trip back to school.

1991 - Brunch with BFF Jeff, Matt, & Joe at Annie's on 17th. Get diagnosed with gonorrhea (but that's another story).

1990 - Drive home from Hagerstown from Deer Park Lodge weekend. Spend day at home.

1989 - Recover from breakup the night before with Ex#1, still host friends Tyler, Tod and Dean staying at my house. Have dinner in DC then go dancing at Dakota.

1988 - Brunch at Lee's house with Mark, Tom, Steve, Tyler, Donnie, Tim & Stephanie. Bring sauerkraut.

1987 - Work 4-12 at the hotel.

1986 - Lunch with friends Dave, Leslie, and John.

1985 - Spend the day with fiance, Crystal. See Ghostbusters.

1984 - Play reading at John's house for senior play, Harvey. I was Dr. Chumley.

1983 - Family visits the Michael's.

1982 - Nothing entered here, but I doubt there's much a 16 year old needs to recover from.