An Update:

Well it's been a while since I posted anything, and I'm not happy about that.

It's been an absolutely crazy  month. But I'm hoping to have a chance to relax and gather my thoughts in the next few days and maybe have something to say. In the meantime here's a recap of some of the things I've been up to lately:

Fishing: I never really thought of myself as someone who would get into fishing, but being out on the water with no distractions and just swish and buzz of casting a line, interrupted by the thrill of an occasional catch has proved itself be like a mini-vacation. It helps that my friend's home is just a stone's-throw from a fully-stocked pond and there's no packing and unpacking of the boat to deal with. Going out on the pond surrounded by good friends, still water, and nature's bounty is truly a worthwhile escape from the madness of the world.

Fall colors...

Jim, looking like an old dude.


The Sun dipping low in the sky...
 Theatre: I was recently apart of a local community musical theatre production in my town. This Sunday was the final performance and we played to a packed house. There were a couple of rough nights, D.O.A./small audiences, but the rest of the nights more than made up for them. The play was written, produced and directed by the extremely talented Langden Mason. It's all about a year in the town in 1954 and is written around a local radio station that ran at the time. I was a part of 7 different numbers, including a solo, a duet, a quintet, two sextets, and two ensemble pieces, with my characters ranging from a radio singer to a cowboy, irish immigrant, marching band member, to a vampire. It was a healthy bit of fresh air and exercise for my multiple personality disorder.

Langden out front directing a rehearsal.

Langden at the piano surrounded by the cast of On The Air

Little brother Sam (second from left) and some fellow cast-members during rehearsals.
 The second and last weekend of performances fell right on my duty weekend, so I drove over an hour both ways, from the base to my hometown three times in total that weekend, getting up at 5:30AM and going to bed and 1:00AM each day. I just now am starting to feel like I might actually eventually catch up on sleep!

But what has been really amazing about this whole experience is that I actually saw the play the first time it ran in 2001. I was 14 years old at the time, and it made a huge impression on me, one song especially: "Your Love Haunts My Dreams" which is a piece written by Langden Mason when he was 16 years old (what better age for writing entrancingly hyperbolic music?) and is based on Bram Stoker's Dracula. It was a haunting performance that has stayed with me since the first time I saw it, with Langden singing from the orchestra pit and Terri Long up on the stage, exuding vulnerability and emotion. When I auditioned for the play, I assumed that it would be the same deal as last time, but Langden decided to have me replace him in the number and I found myself onstage with Terri, who came back again to reprise her two roles in the production, and singing a song that I never thought I'd hear again, not to mention have a chance to perform. All in all, it was nothing short of thrilling, especially just to be a part of this group of talented, positive-minded, and truly wonderful people. But the whole experience has ultimately been quite exhausting and time consuming. In consequence and conjunction with everything else that has happened recently, mostly mundane and un-post-worthy, there have been no blog posts.

Terri Long as "Lucy" and myself as "The Count." (photo by Barry Long)
 Riding: I got my bike up and running, cleaned it up, and have been rolling out the miles pretty steadily on the odometer. The cold weather has necessitated my layering-up and I walk out the door most days looking something like the "Michelin Man." But the added hassle of dressing for the cold is vastly out-weighed by the liberation I feel when blasting through turns and cruising down the highway feeling the full force of the elements, fully aware of my surroundings, the smells, the temperature and humidity, the position of the Sun and clouds, the colors and all the sensations of acceleration and gravity, friction and momentum. There is no ignoring the natural world on a motorcycle.

The bike stripped down and ready to clean and polish.

Graduation: My younger brother, Andrew, graduated from Army Basic last week, and those of us that could drove down to Georgia for the day. Contrary to reasonable expectation, it did not get any warmer the farther south we went. It was, in fact, quite the opposite. And it was something of a blitz back and forth, but we were able to spend a few hours with Andrew and it was well worth it.

Slipping down the road, trees like water flow by.

Keeping the natives happy with my iPod Touch.

Almost there...

The Georgia "moonlight in the pines" can seem so sultry in the words of a song...

... and slightly less so in the middle of the city.

Fueling up at Denny's.

A Georgia morning...

...mist and Spanish moss.

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Ft. Benning

My brother, a newly graduated U.S. Soldier.

... and that is some of what's transpired since I've last posted.

A closing thought: 

Which definition of love do you find most accurate?

1. Deep affection and warm feeling for another.

2. The emotion of sex and romance: strong sexual desire for another person.

3. A beloved person.

4. A strong fondness or enthusiasm.

5. A zero score (in tennis.)

Leave it to sports terminology to sum it up correctly, right?


  1. This was a great post. Usually, when people write about what is happening to them, it's like "Yeah, yeah, who hasn't had one of those days," but this was different. Lots of exciting things going on.

    Had you ever been in theatre before? When I was in high school, I was in 11 theatre productions. I starred in 3 and had the lead in 2. I was everything from and indian, nun, poodle-skirt girl, wicked stepmother, queen, pirate, countess, village person, european socialite, hippie, little kid, old woman, etc. SOme of my fondess memories were working on those plays. (However, some of my least fondest memories were too.)

    It pretty awesome that this was a production you had seen before and really admired. What was the name of it again? I think I missed that.

    Also, to finish off. I would have to go with the #1 definition.

  2. Thanks Aubrie!

    I was Sir Andrew in a reading of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night a long time ago, and the Duke of Athens in A Midsummer's Night Dream a few months back, but this is definitely my first musical. It's production called "On The Air" written, directed and produced by a local playwright/humor columnist and it's all about a radio station that ran in my hometown in 1954. It's really quite an amazing musical, and sans all the inside jokes and references known only to the people who live in the town, it could definitely go much bigger.

    Sounds like you've had quite a theatrical upbringing! We had a couple of poodle-skirt girls ourselves (as the stage-hands.) They pretty much stole the show :-P

    Stay tuned if you like, as I will be posting some links to the videos of the production as they're uploaded to Youtube.

    I think that #1 does sum up best the classical definition of "love" out of all the options given, but #5 so much more cynically adroit in summing up my current love life. :-)

  3. It seems like you've really hit some of the classics. Especially Shakespeare. Twelfth Night is one of my favorites, although I have never seen it performed (except in movies).

    I used to go to the Shakespearean Fastival in Stratford, Canada. In the 3 years I went I saw 3 Shakespeare plays (Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline (another of my favorites) and Much Ado About Nothing) 3 musicals (Hello Dolly, Gigi, and Anything Goes (If you ever get a chance to see Anything Goes live, DO IT! Cole Porter was a musical genius!) and 3 dramas (The Huntchback of Notre Dame (It was nothing like the Disney movie! Way scary!), Count of Monte Cristo, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof).

    It was pretty cool because I went when I was in highschool and doing all my own plays there. We didn't do anything nearly as fun though. We did...

    Groovy...A 60's musical. I was a Hippy.
    Sleepying Beauty...I played the Queen.
    Cinderalla...I was teh wicked stepmother (This was probably my favorite role.)
    Treasure Island...I played Molly, one of the stowaways (This was a lead role.)
    An Improv Show...I played lots of different people as you can imagine. Inprov is fun, but scary because almost everything is made up on the spot. NO SCRIPTS!!
    The Music Man...I had a bunch of little roles and nearly 15 constume changes.
    The Unsinkable Molly Brown...I love this play,and I had a bunch of little roles in it, but ours kind of stunk. Debbie Reynolds would have frowned at us :(
    Rock and Roll...A 50's musical (we like our period pieces. lol) I played Betsy Lou Browning (my second leading role)
    The Mouse that Roared...I was the main guys mother :( Kind of boring, but it was fun to be around everyone again.

    All in all, I had a blast!

    Yes, #1 does seem to be the classic. Sorry about your current state. Hopefully things will look up.

  4. oh! Thank goodness. While posting that last comment, blogspot said an error occured! But it looks like it posted just fine. :)

  5. Well thank you :-) I don't need to tell you how melodramatic writers are, so it may sound much worse than it really is ;-)

    I love doing Shakespeare... that's the way I talk in real life anyway.

    Ok, that's not true. But I wish it was.