Saturday, March 21, 2009

This Weeks Guest Blogger

[editors note: Nancie K is the Blog's first guest blogger. She is fairly awesome and maintains her own Blog on her adventures in her community garden. I highly recommend it if you like to garden, eat vegetables, or are the least bit interested in garden drama. -brandon]

I Got Peed On At Camp:

Some of my most vivid summer memories are from camp. It's sort of a thing in the Jewish community to send your kids off to summer camp where they can hang out with other kids, play, learn songs and learn some of the hows and whys of being Jewish. There's also the idea that it teaches independence, but probably more important than all of these is the chance for parents to get rid of their kids for 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks and enjoy some child-free peace and quiet!

A lot of the fun of camp is the unfettered freedom. You're mostly being supervised by teenagers!

Here is a sampling of things I learned at camp:
1) How to swim and especially how to dive
2) How to play card games like "spit" as well as American, Chinese and Israeli jacks
3) How to play Newcomb and Volleyball
5) What a hickey was and how to give one
6) How to "moon"
7) What all the "bases" are and how to french kiss
8) That the girls in G-3 "did pot" although I think I learned what "pot" was much later on.
9) How to put someone in a "trance," how to hold a seance and how to use a ouija board.
10) bats like the rafters of rec rooms and sometimes like the very curly hair of counselors - ew!

In my youth, I went to a lot of different camps: day camps, sleep-away and even a teenaway camp when I was in junior high where we went someplace cool in the city every day.

Unfortunately some of my camp experiences were better than others and the very first camp I went to was a girl scout camp when I was seven. This is where I got peed on. It's really not that much of a story, but here's what happened:

A girl in my bunk wet her bed and her sleeping bag needed to be washed. While her sleeping bag was at the laundry she couldn't use it and for some reason they couldn't get her stuff washed before we all had to go to sleep that night. My counselor had the brilliant idea that we should just stick her in my sleeping bag with me and she'd get her bedding back the next day and all would be ok. Well, this kid was a bedwetter and so, she wet the bed, but this time it was MY bed. I don't really remember much of what happened next, but I have some vague recollection of them maybe sticking me in her sleeping bag the next night while mine was being laundered. It seems far fetched so maybe it didn't happen that way, but I think these girl scouts were that stupid and it really may have.

I stopped going to that camp. It was lame and there were no boys either!


Newcomb Ball

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Brush With Fame

Bored at work, I started cataloging all of my brushes with famous people. I asked around, and nobody had any interesting experiences, except for the boss. He went to a concert with Boz Scaggs' younger brother. How cool is that? Not really, I know.

My earliest memory of a brush with fame was shaking hands with Sugar Ray Leonard at a boxing match at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I still think it's kinda neat, even though at the time, I really didn't understand who he was.

Along the boxing vein, a later brush with "fame" was when "Hurricane" Peter McNeely asked me for directions on Newbury Street once. He had recently got his ass whooped by Mike Tyson, and I was more than a little amused to have a run-in with him.

Also, at the same job, Curtis Armstrong came in to the store and bought a vest. Don't know who Curtis is? He's more commonly known for the tagline "We've got bush!" in Revenge of the Nerds. That's right. Booger. Or Charles DeMar from Better Off Dead: "This entire mountain is made of snow!"

A couple doors down from that job was another job at a cafe where I had the following brushes with fame:
Greg Hawkes was a regular, and a pretty nice guy. Don't know who he was? Me neither, at the time. He was the keyboard player for The Cars.

I served coffee to Joe Perry at one point. He seemed a little freaked out to be among the commoners. It was too quick an exchange to get any sense of Joe's coolness. Also, once at the airport I saw the bass player for Aerosmith.

Recently I came within feet of the tiniest Dixie Chick. They had pretty tight security. I found out that one of the Dixie Chicks owns a monkey that she takes on tour with her. It's true.

Also, through the same friend, I got into the green room of E-40 and his posse. Don't know who 40 is? Stay there. He's a hardly marginally talented rapper. And he's a DICK. And so are his hangers-on.

The brush that I'm kind of ashamed with took place in Denver, when I ran into Charles Lewton-Brain.

He's a jeweler and sculptor who writes little books on techniques, tricks, and shortcuts. A big writer/teacher, he writes great articles about steamlining one's workspace, and lo-fi techniques. I've been an avid reader of his books and articles, and really respected his knowledge. I ran into him at a conference and was rendered nearly speechless. It was pathetic.

My coolest brushes took place over a weekend recently. I found myself having breakfast in the same room as Mean Gene Okerlund. Fucking badass.

I'm way over it now, but I was a fan of WWF as a wee kid, and Mean Gene was the voice of it. Also, on that same day, I got within two feet of Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster. If seeing Gene was a big deal, Hogan was like walking by Elvis. I also saw a bunch of superstars of the modern fake-pro-wrestling, but don't give a crap about it, so I didn't recognize any of them, aside to say that it was filled with Huge Dudes, and Smokin hot chicks.

Also, living in Boston affords some odd perks: I sat on the orange line opposite former presidential candidate Mike Dukakkis once.

(*no caption necessary)

Walking with Pollard in Kenmore Square, he claimed that we had just walked past Frank Black, but I wasn't paying attention, so I can't confirm that one.

Anyone else?

(originally published 11/10/2006)