Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bob Marshall debate TONIGHT!

Bob Marshall Vs. Bruce Roemmelt tonight at 7:30 in.

At first, I tried to give Marshall the benefit of the doubt that he's really just a misguided good intentioned person. The more debates I hear him do though, the more it becomes clear to me that he isn't. Hopefully this will be another example for people to see the real intentions behind the writing of the Marshall-Newman amendment.

Good luck Bruce!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pesky Error 500

As far as I can tell, Blogger is finished being dead for now. Sorry 'bout that.

Homosexuality and Pedophilia have different names for a reason… THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

How many times must this be explained?

A pedophile is a person sexually attracted to minors (sex usually not specified). A homosexual is sexually attracted to a person of the same sex. Pedophilia is in no way a factor for defining a homosexual. It occurs in both homosexuals and heterosexuals and is uncommon in both overall.

What people often overlook when suggesting that accepting homosexuality will lead us down such absurd moral slippery slopes as to accept pedophilia and bestiality is the matter of mutual consent. With pedophilia and bestiality, mutual consent cannot be proven if even questioned. The mutual consent of two adult homosexuals on the other hand can be proven, thus it is an infringement of privacy and the fundamental rights of two individuals to intrude upon that consent.

Not even as far back as fifty years ago, it was this kind of ignorance that led to black people being looked at as sex crazed animals that the Klan had to protect their white women from. Sheesh!

Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance says, "VOTE NO!"

Shani L. Cotton, Sexual Violence Services Coordinator for, addresses how domestic violence cases may be affected by the Marshall-Newman amendment.

There are so many reasons to be against this amendment. Take your pick and please vote no!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

On Bigotry and Polygamy

Two things you hear a lot about in debating the Marshall-Newman amendment are Bigotry and Polygamy. They are usually dismissed for very good reasons, but I thought sense I only have a hundred other perhaps more important things to do... What the heck! Let's give them the time of day!

Are Supporters of the Marshall-Newman Amendment Bigots? (A Challenge)

Proponents tend to get real upset when called bigots by opponents of the amendment. This isn't too terribly common with the everyday Yes-voter, but Bob Marshall gets accused of bigotry so often you would think he went to debates dressed as a ghost... with a pointy hood.

So the question is, can you vote yes and not be a bigot?

Well, let's put it a test shall we. First lets look at the word itself so we are all playing by the same rules.

Hmm.... Ironically the word has roots as an insult towards Normans, which is new to me and I expect is not commonly know by those on either side that use the word. This seems due to the word evolving so much to mean the opposite in modern definitions.

Accurately or not, the intended use of the word by opponents towards outspoken proponents has been to accuse prejudice. Bigotry in common language has come to mean generalized prejudice. Someone that you would call a racist could also be called a bigot. Chauvinists and anti-Semites are also bigots by the common use and it is for that reason that the word has been used towards proponents. There are shades to racism. You do not need to hate black people to think them less than you, nor do you need to be a misogynist to be a chauvinist. That is the point; we are not trying to simply say that all in favor want to tie gays to fence posts and beat them to death. We are saying that to promote this amendment, let alone come up with it, is to promote discrimination in legislature and to ultimately be prejudice.

Perhaps a better word is needed than bigot to call such people. I will from this point on take the word into much consideration before applying it to someone. Still the intended use has been to identify those that would discriminate homosexuals with a name equivalent to racist and chauvinist, and recognizes the complexity of those words in its own use. To simply say someone is "anti-gay" does not take into account the subtleties of discrimination and can over vilify the ignorant, misinformed and harmfully good intentioned. This intended use of bigot, I will continue to explore when questioning proponents' prejudice.

The Challenge

To better understand the dilemma in someone voting for the amendment and not harboring discriminatory feelings as previously defined, I would like to offer a challenge to any reader still with me on this increasingly not so little ride. I would like to challenge you to offer a reason in defense of segregation that is not racist. Furthermore, I would like you to offer a reason for woman to not have the right to vote that is not sexist. To be clear, I'm not saying you have to find a reason you agree with, only one that holds some reasonable degree of validity (note that I did not ask you for a reason not to have abolished slavery. I'm considering the matter of context too in this!). I'm also not saying that this is impossible, only that I have failed in all efforts to find one that struck me as to any degree being a worthwhile excuse and thus I challenge you to try as well. If you succeed then I hope at the vary least the difficulty in finding one will provide you with some perspective as to why it is so hard for proponents to believe it is possible. I look forward to this discussion.

Is Polygamy a Real Threat?

A common concern for proponents of the amendment and Bob Marshall himself is that there is a "homosexual agenda." That once gay marriage is legalized (and don't forget voting against this amendment will not change its already present prohibition.) the next step will be polygamy and then all sorts of scary boogey men will come out. This is commonly dismissed as a red herring, and I'm tempted to due the same, but instead I'll explain why it is basically a red herring.

First the claim that there are some people that have such an agenda is not inaccurate. There are some people who want Polygamy to be a legal form of marriage. There are some (though probably fewer and certainly less sane) people that want to legally do the hokey pokey with their little dog Smokey too. These people however do not make up a notable portion of the population let alone the anti-amendment movement. To claim such is to label religious leaders and notable republicans along with conservative democrats as such, and though certain scandals have left the nation raising more than a few eye-brows towards the republican party, the fact is that most of them really aren't that wild. It is an attempt to broadly paint a diverse group of people with the very controversial life style and view of an extremely small minority. (A minority that is currently under a lot of flack do to that Mormon scandal.) To say that all opposed to the amendment or even a portion worth being concerned about are pro polygamy is like saying all Christians are Dominionists.

Besides the lack of proponents for polygamy, lets look at the logistics of legalizing such a form of marriage. With a homosexual marriage there is only a few minor things to sort out such as how the court will deal with custody cases if a homosexual union breaks up, or gender based benefits. Even there it really looks more complicated than it should be. Judges might favor the biological parent if it is not a pure adoption and ultimately will grant custody to the parent best capable of providing a healthy environment (education, shelter, competent parenting).

With Polygamy however... the paperwork would be a nightmare. Can you even begin to fathom distribution of benefits? The complexities of divorce? If you want to talk about a child getting shuffled around just ponder that mess. In short, gay marriage would redefine gender's role in marriage while polygamy would redefine the entire structure. One is a skip, the other is a huge leap.

(Reminder: Let's not forget this amendment is actually only dealing with other unions. Gay marriage is very illegal in Virginia. You do not have to be for gay marriage to be against this amendment.)

Polygamy is decades if not centuries away from being a serious issue of discussion. If there is anything to become ready for with polygamy I can say we are not ready as a society for it now. So few of us can even get one marriage to work; how anyone could find time to make multiple ones work is beyond me. I've known polygamist and can say that even though I can respect them as individuals and as a group, I've yet to be convinced that it is a fully functional and adequate form of family structure beyond perhaps the rarest of circumstances. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that makes me the "bigot" now. (It would seem fitting since the word also comes from hypocrite in French.) As it stands I see polygamy as a social movement, a choice of life style rooted in a radical outlook. A polygamist is not in any way defined as such the way a homosexual is. I've yet to even hear a debate considering polygamy a biological trait. I'm not beyond convincing that I'm wrong, but it would take one hell of an effort to do so. So let me assure all that fear the boogey man that if there was a vote tomorrow to legalize polygamy as a form of marriage, I would vote against it. Some people that live in Virginia may want polygamy, but there are also people in Virginia that are Anarchists. They make up pretty much the same crowd actually. Is anyone really worried about Virginia becoming an anarchist state?

Does anyone else find the words "anarchist state" really, really funny?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Further thought on Padilla

NOTE : this went through a lot of shaping, edits and clean ups. So if you read it before 4:00pm (especially on C-ville Blogs) you probably saw the trainwreck version. Please give it another go now that it's all better. Thanks!

David over at Equality Loudon offers some of that "more to the story" I was talking about.
As it turns out, Mr. Padilla was employed in the human resources office of Cargill. It is the specific responsibility of a human resources office to uphold the employment policies of a company, which include its non-discrimination policies. This is not just a random position, but one that has specific requirements having to do with, well, tolerance. Cargill wants someone in that position who can be trusted by employees to treat everyone fairly. In their judgment Mr. Padilla was openly advertising an unwillingness to uphold their policies.

When you take this factor in, Cargill really might have a case after all. At the very least you are out of the black and white realm the story was first presented in. There is also this last bit that I somehow must of overlooked:

"When ordered to do something relatively simple - remove from his truck two signs that other employees could have reasonably construed as a show of hostility and intolerance toward homosexuals - Mr. Padilla decided to ignore the warning and disobey the order.

"By refusing to obey the order, he demonstrated that he could not be trusted to enforce and promote our employment policies because his personal beliefs mattered more to him."

"Personal beliefs" does not necessarily mean religious beliefs, so I'm sticking to my guns with my previous observations in that regard. However, This does shed a different light on his compliance. I'm not saying he didn't have some right to be persistent in trying to keep his message, but it's starting to look very clearly like Cargill really did have perfect right to fire him.

Then there is one last observation that David made that really hit the nail on the head for me with this:
Nor does there seem to be any acknowledgement or condemnation of the fact that it's perfectly legal in Virginia to fire an employee on account of their sexual orientation. Hmm.
Oh, sweet irony! (I really wasn't aware of that.) I'm not saying there isn't a first amendment case here. It's just that as the facts start to come in and are arranged with a little bit of broader perspective... I can't say I really care about this on the level I started out on. I still believee that as much as a difference of opinion can not be offensive (especially when considering the context of a group of people's rights) the message on Padilla's care was not aggressive. Without further examination though, that's all that I can say for now. We simply do not know the man's character, which at this point I imagine has a lot more to do with this. We don't know why he wants the amendment. Perhaps he believes some of the tripe about gay marriage destroying America that is out there. Perhaps he is actually afraid that people marrying dogs will be the next step. No matter how many rotten apples have given Christianity a bad name, it still hasn't cornered the entire market on ignorance in America. Without more info, we'll just have to see how it goes at court as to how much the conditions of of his employment and his manner of conduct factor in.

Needless to say, I grow tired of this victimized rhetoric. There is a big difference between being intolerant and being confrontational. An amendment is being proposed to further strip the rights away from people who are not treated as equals and those that are stripping their rights away actually expect them to be cool about it? Any other time in history and there would be violence over this by now. I think the gay communityy has been pretty darn civil in the fight for their rights. Cargill is not the Commonwealth Coalition, and the Commonwealth Coalition is not made up of only gay people. People from both parties have issue with this amendment and it annoys me to no end that we all get lumped together as the big crazy Liberals when we don't always even agree with each other's reasons for opposing. Matter of fact, the most common reason is actually conservative. We are simply brought together by the common goal. Cargill is a large corporation that has rights to say what it does or does not want on its land weather we like it or not. Maybe this case falls outside those rights and maybe it doesn't. I've said my share now in defense and in criticized of Padilla. The court will decide.

Friday, October 20, 2006


It's been a day.

Warm sun

Strong wind

Bit of joy

Bit of maddness

Bit of wisdom

Bit of violence

It's all getting quiet now

Good night.

Padilla, Free Speech and Seperation of Church and State

First off I'm working off a single news link from James Young's Blog. Link away if you think someone else covered the incident better than DNRonline or if there is more to the story (Was the truck company property? If so, they really did have the right to decide what they did or did not want advertised on it).

From what I know about this, I agree with the outrage. Freedom of speech has a lot more to do with protecting the things we don't like, be they the KKK, a holocaust denier, Bill O' Riley, Howard Stern, Slim Shady, Marlyn Manson or simply an employee with a different political belief, than your own. What really makes this frustrating is the degree of compliance and cooperation that Padilla gave to Cargill's wishes. I cannot see anything more offensive about having written "Please Vote for Marriage on Nov. 7" on the back one's car than writing, "Don't blame me, I voted for Willie Nelson."

So yeah, I'm not denying it. From what I've read I feel that this is pretty messed up and the people at Cargill that fired him give people that oppose the Marshall-Newman amendment a bad name. This is our chance to make the kind of proper address of outrage that people like Va4marriage were so reluctant to make in the face of the Loudon hate crime incident.

Before Va4marriage licks their lips too much (too late?) I must throw a word of caution to amendment supporters. This is not as good a thing as you might think. You see, for all the skill in turning this into how the gays want tolerance and yet give none in return, a bone has been thrown the way of the opposition.

The firing of Padilla, said Dunaway in her letter, "not only reeks of discrimination and hostility toward Christians, but is nothing less than a clear example of corporate bullying."

Um... Who said anything about his faith? His faith had never been brought up anywhere in this confrontation as it's been reported. It wasn't expressed in what he wrote on his truck nor did he bring it up in his account. They never even reported his reason for supporting the amendment.

So what is Dunaway and Co. telling us when they make this a religious issue without showing anything in the confrontation that would imply that it's a religious issue? It would seem to me that they are telling us that the amendment itself is religiously motivated thus making support for it a religious decision.

It is not the government's job to protect let alone "save" its peoples' souls. It is not the governments job to define the human soul and what are threats there too. People often argue license to such with the grounds that the Framers were Christian, but it was those Christian men that made it VERY explicitly clear that the government was not made to favor any religion let alone its labors towards the soul. Let us not forget that the first notable proponent of separation of church and state, Roger Williams (1603-1684), devised it not for the protection of the state from the church, but for the protection of the purity and sincerity of the church from the ambitions and coercions of the state. No one can be forced to love God, only broken to despise God. Remember that.

If truly wronged, I hope Padilla finds justice in the courts, but if those that defend him claim his faith was what got him fired without providing evidence that it was his motive for supporting the amendment and that the issue was clearly addressed in the confrontations leading to his dismissal, than the message seems clear.

This is what they are saying they want to put into the state constitution - to the Virginia Bill of Rights: legislature that will restrict the rights of unmarried heterosexuals so that a religious group's beliefs can be enforced upon homosexuals without looking too blatantly bigoted. The church is not an evil thing, but when granted the power of the state one allows both the church and the state to become corrupted by the pursuit of power and the arrogant justification of absolutism in the face of the abstract that is divinity.

PVCC lock down

I was planting bulbs near the bend going towards the Dickinson Building after Bio Lab when security drove by and told me to head back to the main building... that there was an armed and dangerous man on the loose in the area.

Back inside I heard a mix of fragments about what was going on. It wasn't chaotic though. There was no panicked cacophony or anything like that. People were calm. There was as much annoyance at not being able to go home after work as there was fear. Jokes were made and conversations continued. Security was more concerned with safety than explaining everything. As long as I didn't need to know something, that was fine by me. As people filled were filled in at the door and the telephone game played, I heard something about automatic weapons from one explanation and a car pulled over full of assault rifles from another, which made me nervous. There was something else about a shooting attempt in town. After last weeks downtown car jacking attempt (which I had also been about a block away from) this just seemed to unreal.

About 20 minutes later we were allowed to leave the building but instructed to go directly to our cars and not stop for anyone. Waiting on my ride, I hung out in the Math Center for a bit. Along the way I visited a professor in her office only to discover no one had told her about what was happening. Around 4:30 I was picked up. I was instructed to leave by the front (flag pole) entrance. It wasn't very clear if this was due to security thinking he might be near that side entrance area (perhaps the woods new the Old Dominion building?) since last I had heard they thought he was hiding in the woods around the hiking trail, which would be kind of ironic since it leads right to the prison.

Outside a student sat on the wall indifferent, waiting for his own ride if not the bus that I doubted was coming. A police vehicle (looked like what we used to call a "patty wagon" back in high school) sat at the across from the flag pole though I didn't see a driver. The helicopter flew over head as we reached the foot of the hill and left in time to see the NBC-29 van turn to go up to report.

The news just gave an update on the hunt for Elvis Shifflett.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Little Big Minds" website is up!

The website for Marietta McCarty's new book, Little Big Minds: Sharing Philosophy with Kids, is up and running. Check it out.

Taking Marietta's classes PVCC has always been a pleasure for me. The nature of philosophy is such that the logical structure of essays is not always the best medium, and she was aware of that. Between Ethics, Existentialism and Eastern Thinking, I believe I only wrote one essay. Everything else that I turned in was an art project of some form. Short stories, a painting, poetry, experimental prose, and book of lyrics were all alternatives I was allowed to do instead of essays. It was a lot of freedom and because I was given that level of trust not to just bring in a stick and declare it Zen, I felt compelled to crank out works of higher quality than was even necessary.

I know people who've had a real front row seat for the making of this book, so I'm not going to say I'm one of them. I did get a pretty good deal on the general admission though, so I'm glad to see it winding up and the paper soaking up ink. Marietta and her assistant, Amy, worked their butts off on this to meet deadlines without affecting the quality. Taking Eastern Thinking at the time I kept track of the progress, and never once heard her say she wasn't happy with a chapter that she sent out.

For most of my childhood and teens I felt that youths were underestimated. Granted, there are some pretty dumb kids out there, or at least kids that do dumb things. Still as a whole I thought at the time and still believe that one big edge children have over adults is that their minds are a clean slate. They do see things differently than adults because not only are they naive (as people love to point out way too much), but they are not cynical and bogged down by certain trains of thought that adults have been conditioned to. Nothing can affect change better than a fresh set of eyes. So I'm glad to see a book out that recognizes that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Save Our Parks Rally"

"Did you hear? They wanna put roads thru the two biggest parks in Charlottesville?!?!"

That's what the flier says that Stratton Salidis handed me Monday evening at the Twisted Branch. I told him I probably couldn't make it but I would at least spread the word. So here you go!

Honestly, I've not kept up very well for the past year or two with the continuing saga of the Meadowcreek Parkway and Eastern Connector. I've been against the Meadowcreek Parkway since day one, and I'm far from a fan of putting a road through Penn Park. It strikes me that, as much as democrats and republicans have evoked the Vietnam War in debates over Iraq, there should be a unanimous opposition to putting a road straight through what is perhaps the oldest Vietnam memorial in the nation.

The rally will be held at 5:30pm on the 18th (TODAY) at Water St. and 4th Street SE (near the center of the downtown mall). City Counselors and Co. Supervisors will be present. So let them know what you think if you can make it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Memories of Charlottesville No Shame and The People Behind It

I was taking a poetry class at Live Arts in the winter of 2001 when I was first introduced to No Shame Theater. At the time I was writing at a feverish pace. Between my mom's boyfriend passing away from a heart attack and the September 11 attacks, I had become pretty internal. I was running on full throttle escapism mode, and my drug of choice was songwriting. I had been writing since late 1997, but after those two events completely changed everything personally and nationally, the rate of production became frightening. I was writing so many songs (often four or five at the same time) that I actually don't remember some of them now. Every once in a while I'll go back into my old hard drive to dig up something and still find another song I don't remember writing. For a while, it became my life.

For the final project of the poetry class, we were all assigned to give a reading at No Shame Theater, an open mic variety show every Friday night at 11:00 in the old LAB space. So I decided that since my poetry was all really just a front for the fact that I couldn't play an instrument, I decided to sing a song instead. I'm not sure if I had heard Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" yet, but I sang it stomp blues a cappella on account of the fact that I couldn't play and didn't have a band at that point. I was so nervous that I think people were probably more impressed by the physical performance of fighting stage fright than the song. Still, I got good feedback from everyone. It was the kind of environment that made you not run off the stage even if your body wanted to. When they said, "dare to fail" they meant it. This was a space for people to hone their craft. To fall down and get back up, to take risks and learn from them. I was hooked, but sadly misinformed.

I was under the impression that No Shame was a seasonal thing that had come to an end. Little did I know it actually was one of the most consistent happenings on a Friday night in all of Charlottesville. No Shame Theater didn't stop for nothing, not even Christmas. It was blind luck that Lee Moyer recognized me in an audience at a play a couple months later. I was so in my own world at the time I probably would have never found out that it was still happening. Sadly I had been nominated for BONS (Best of No Shame, a quarterly round up of the best performances for a grander early evening show) but no one knew how to contact me and I missed it.

It wasn't too long after bumping into Lee before I returned. From late March of 2002 to December 19, 2003 I performed about forty times. I loved the space and the people. We were particularly lucky because our branch of No Shame was founded by the Co-founder of the original No Shame from back in 1986, Todd Ristau.

Todd brought that history and vision with him that made us a real art scene. He had a kind of punk mentality when it came to one scene plays and monologs. One of the few rules for performing was that pieces had to be under five minutes, and that was usually more than Todd needed to unnerve the living shit out of you. He had been doing this for years, setting them up around the country like fight clubs, and in Tyler Durden we trusted. The power pair of him and his super charming wife Joan "The Librarian" were a delight. Especially when he'd do an Archie Levine piece and she looked on nervously from the audience or concession stand as his face turned all sorts of scary shades of red from his performance as the pissed off commentator that makes Frank Black seem... sheepish. Another thing perhaps worth mentioning is that he got me into The Cramps, which, for those who know me very well, explains a lot in some reguards.

Then there was Clinton Johnson. He was the ringmaster that riled us up at the beginning of each show. It was kind of like the opening to Tom Wait's Black Rider album; Clinton introduced the circus of freaks, and, in the best sense of the word, freaks we were. The interpretive dancers, the poets, the short plays, virtually anything within state law could happen and often did. You wanted to throw yourself against the stage like Iggy Pop after Clinton was done with you (although another of the few rules was that you were not allowed to hurt anyone including yourself). No one could deliver the trademark reminder that closed every show, "Just think of what you got when you've got no shame!" like he could. Often ending at 12:00 to 12:30, he left you game for another hour of antics. Clinton is simply Clinton. If you know him or have known him... then... well... you know! How many people are willing to pick up their guitar (that are not "professional" musicians) and try and learn a song minutes before you go on stage because it looks like that rather necessary part of your band's trio isn't going to make it? On one scary night, he was. My favorite performance was his blues song, "Going To Have To Take You For a Ride." But anytime Clinton was on the stage it was a treat.

From as far back as I know, if not day one, to the very end Ursula Hull was the backbone of Charlottesville No Shame. When Todd moved to Roanoke, Ursula took over the show and kept it together to the bitter end. Somewhat quiet but outgoing, to the best of my knowledge she seldom performed and if so it was by request of a writer in need of actors. She wasn't really there for her own benefit per se, it was because she believed in No Shame and wanted to support what it was doing. Ursula ruled!

There are so many other great people who were a part of No Shame. Trent Westbrook often ran lights. I always got the impression that where he really belonged was in Warhol's Factory in the Velvet Underground days but time and space just weren't on his side. Fire breather Jane Jones worked the door and concessions - a girl who didn't just talk about running away and joining the circus... she actually did it! Both great performers. To this day I still feel sorry for inflicting my little performance experiment, "Another Zit," upon Trent to read. Still he was real nice about it. Few people weren't nice other than rare drifters who usually never came back.

There are so many other frequent performers I'd love to write pages and pages about. I'm afraid I'm going to leave someone out, but I'll give it a go.

Sherwood Ross was a hell of a great play write and singer songwriter of goofy protest songs. He looked like he was Terence Stamp's much more cheery older brother.

Sean Nitchmann, forever the kid in the Godzilla suit stomping Barbie dolls in an adults body, made Tenacious D harder to like than they already were by having a similar sense of over the top humor but doing it so much better. I'll forever be in Sean's dept for discovering the ultimate cure for earworms.

Sean's son, Justin Wolf, is one of the great young songwriters of Charlottesville. Justin also holds the claim to fame of being the first C-ville No Shamer to receive a standing ovation.

Tucker Duncan was our hip-hop spawn of Beck channeling Miguel Piñero golden poet. Nuff said.

Before Richelle Claiborne was the queen of Charlottesville, she was rocking her great poetry at No Shame. Still have her first two books on my shelf.

K.T. was everyone's favorite self-proclaimed stalker. No Shame was her journal, her scrapbook to collage, and we loved being her pages.

Phaedron came into the scene a little later than I did, but totally go what No Shame was and once the scene had died he was one of the very few people who stuck it out till bottom of the well was cracked mud dry. Always admired him for that. He was one of those coattails of the beatnik generation types and seemed be involved in similar Hermetic spiritual studies as Leonard Cohen had been in throughout his earlier years which gave him a similar air. I liked being in a space where someone was bringing that kind of energy, I just wish there was some way footnotes could be provided at poetry readings!

Greg Hays was one of my favorite performers. He had a dry humor that wasn't deadpan, but implosive, like a deadpan cracking at the seams. He often played the irritated slightly geeky stiff, and played it well. It was always interesting when he didn't play it though. He has a good character or approach to characters that he'd developed, but when he showed he was capable of more, it would catch you off guard in the best way an actor can. Good writer too!

Brandon Allison, Tim Trotter, Seth Silverman, Sal Milione, Lee Moyer, Leeyanne Moore, and so many, many others! They were all wonderful people and talented artists. Who needed Saturday Night Live? We had Friday nights at No Shame!

I owe a lot to No Shame. It helped me beat stage fright, gave me a venue to be constructive in during a rather dark period of my personal life, and encouraged me to pursue songwriting as more than a phase. It also did wonders over all for my attitude. It made me more out going and less concerned with making a fool of myself. It also got me back in touch with the local folk scene and its next generation. Danny Schmidt performed "Cleopatra" one night and from there I got back into listening to the King of My Living Room gang, which have influenced me to no end. It was a venue for my second band Side Effects, and also gave me the chance to perform on a stage with one of my favorite guitarists from my generation, Liam Gilchrist.

I feel sorry that it is gone, but I'm glad we had it when we did. I only wish more people could have experienced it. Sure, some nights were a little lousy. That's what happens when you take the kinds of chances we were taking, but when it was good it was great. With the spirit everyone brought to it, there was never a bad night. If something went wrong, we had a laugh and tried to do better next time.

So happy 20th anniversary No Shame! From your beginnings in the back of Todd's pickup truck you've spread across the nation and moved countless people with laughter, shock, and tears sometimes in the same five minutes! It was one of the best things to happen to Charlottesville after Tracks closed down, and few people even knew it. The devoted were a family of artists, and though I was at most a cousin that visited periodically, I'm very proud to have been a part of that group and a part of this national underground movement. I hope everyone is having a blast at the weeklong celebration in Iowa City. I wish I could be there.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dizzy thoughts from the beach

Got me a nice cold, so this is going to be in crazy rant format. Dial-up is the devil too so don't expect much from me till I'm back home and rested.

Been shooting a lot of 8-Ball. On one really unlucky game, I put only the 8-ball in the corner pocket on break! There were better games though. That was just the notable freak round... and the three that followed are not to be discussed since they were part of the bad luck. Good games were played.

The beach is right next to a pier, so forget swimming. Sharky waters those be.

A opossum actually came up to the screen door while I was watching Scarface. That should make somebody happy.

Started writeing a country song.

Paul is has an album on the way that will kick all of our asses I'm sure. Much good is happening in music right now.

Saw the news report on the Amish shooting. I love how everyone is pinning their own moral agenda on the dead. But I'll get into that later.

Can't get Shore Leave by Tom Waits out of my head. This trip would be a heck of a lot nicer if my girlfriend were here.

Good food. Good Sangria. Everyone getting along. It's actually so far been a really nice trip. Got a few things I'll have to blog about when I get home. Like energy drinks and amish and stuff.

Pretty tired now.

Take it easy.