Posts filed under ‘Kevin Pick’

Todd Miller, the Washington Monument and the Black Cat

On Friday night, I hung out with my good friend Aaron Evans. Our evening started off with a little bit of WWE. has a article on “5 Ways Hollywood Tricks You Into Seeing Bad Movies“, where they share a brilliant Venn diagram on the movie Sweeny Todd:

I would think a very similar diagram could be done for the “Raw Talent” episode of Project Runway, that the union between “People who watch WWE” and “People who watch Project Runway” would be extremely small. But there are some advantages. Aaron (a WWE fan) and I (a Project Runway fan) had both seen the episode. As a result, we were both able to participate in a conversation (albeit brief) on the other’s show. The weird union on Project Runway gave us something to chat about!

We also watched a few videos on Aaron’s computer. The highlight was this oldie-but-goodie. This is a New Year’s Eve party from many years ago. Our friend Todd gets so wound up in New Year’s that he almost kisses someone he shouldn’t.

I love how Todd pushes the guy away like it was *his* fault

After that, Aaron and I grabbed some coffee in Claredon. We stopped by the Iwo Jima Memorial and headed off to meet Heather and Joe at the Black Cat in D.C. On the way there I was already laying down the ground work for a brief visit.

“So… uh… I sort of get bored of bars quickly….” I said, “So… I don’t know how long I’ll want to stay.”

Welp, the Black Cat turned out to be super fun. It wasn’t smoky and overcrowded like the bars I am familiar with. *And* it was a special 80’s Night (Which is #29 on the Stuff White People Like List). I had so much fun (completely sober!), Aaron and I stayed until the club closed.

Me, Brenda, Heather (Photo by Aaron Evans)

In a town like Blacksburg, I would expect to run into people you know. In a city like D.C., I didn’t expect it. But as soon as we walked into the Black Cat, I saw some friends I hadn’t seen since August. And then later, a different set of friends showed up too!

I’ve known this guy since he was FOUR years old!!! In fact, you can see him in my high school photography. (Photo by Aaron Evans)

After we left the Black Cat, Aaron and I were not deterred by the time– we went and visited the Washington Monument (where I told Aaron about Virginia’s Sharp Top Mountain mistake), the Lincoln Memorial (where I told Aaron about my childhood booger incident) and the WWII Memorial (where at that point, I was too tired to have anything relevant to say).

It was an eventful evening. It was a fun evening and it was a loooooong evening. I didn’t get back to my parent’s until 5 AM.

February 17, 2008 at 2:33 pm 6 comments

Crap to Iraq

Copies of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five were actually burned in a school furnace in North Dakota for being unwholesome and obscene.  The infraction?  In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnuegut had the hardened nerve to have a soldier under fire utter… a curse word.  The horror!  In 1973, Vonnegut wrote to the chairman of that school board:

It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that.

I sure do hope soldiers of this day still speak coarsely (I’m pretty confident that’s a resounding yes).  My cousin is in Iraq and I try to write him letters semi-regularly.  Lately, I’ve noticed quite a trend.  No matter what topic I start with… I usually end up with a story about poop.  For example, one letter went Greetings->Random News->Sean’s Bad Luck->Sean Stepping in Dog Pee Right Out of The Shower->Poop Story!

I think similiar to Vonnegut’s curse words, my poop stories are pretty benign.  And maybe, just maybe, they have some lessons to teach too.   Here are two examples:

Bandit and Instant Justice
This excerpt is from my June 6, 2007 letter.  Sean says this story is one of the best examples of instant justice he has ever heard.  He compares the satisfaction level to watching someone barrel through a red light and then seeing a cop pull them over.

When we were children, we lived near a family called the Picks.  They had a hearty household– mother, father, four boys and two dogs.  They also had a Nintendo which made the house quite a draw in its day.

One afternoon, Jay and the Pick boys returned to the house.  It became a mad dash to the Ninento.  All [the] boys sprinted their way to the family room.  As they descended the stairs, they discovered one of the dogs, Bandit, had left a present in the form of poo on the stairs.

In the Pick household– they had a rule.  Whoever saw dog crap first had to pick it up.

As the boys ran down the stairs, the oldest one, Ryan, shielded his eyes and said, “I didn’t see it!  Haha!  Kevin [the second oldest] has to clean it! Ha ha!”

Ryan’s laughter did not last long.  It turns out Bandit had also peed on the linoleum at the bottom of the stairs, making an extremely slick surface.  As soon as Ryan stepped foot on it he slipped and fell…backwards…on to the stairs… and the dog poo!

So it turns out Ryan had to clean it afterall.  🙂

In case my words didn’t quite capture the moment, I included an illustration in the letter:

Cartoon from my June 6, 2007 Letter.  Larger version available on Flickr.

Jay Teaches Thomas
This one is from my July 2, 2007 letter.  It shows that you may not be able to teach young dogs new tricks.

Oh!  Can you believe it– “beagle” and “dump” brings to mind a childhood memory!!!

That last line was sarcastic because this was just one in a line of letters where something reminded me of poop.

My Grandmother Turnock was always fond of beagles.  Perhaps you remember Thomas– the three-legged one?

When Thomas was a puppy– Carolyn, Jay and I were charged with watching him while Grandma was out of town.  We had a good ole time, but one rainy day posed a problem.  No matter hard hard we tried, we couldn’t get that puppy to poo.

Little Jay came up with an idea.  He had to answer nature’s call himself.

“Why don’t I go out there and show [Thomas] what to do?” he said.

It sounded like a good idea– so Jay ran out into the rain, squatted and did his business while Thomas watched from inside.

As soon as Jay was done, Thomas sprinted outside.  All three of use shrieked with glee.

“It worked!  It worked!”

The power of demonstration reaches beyond species!

Our celebration, however, was premature– […] Thomas came sprinting back into the house… with Jay’s dump in his mouth!!!  🙂

I don’t remember what happened after that.  I’m willing to bet money that it involved my mother cleaning something up!

After weathering the deserts and dangers of Iraq, I’m quite certain these tales wouldn’t even register on my cousin’s coarse radar.

Uh oh.  Unless his morale was irreparably damaged by the Roanoke Star being white

July 3, 2007 at 7:20 pm 3 comments

High School Photography Class

Today I ran across my notebook from a black and white photography class I took in high school during the spring of 1993.  It’s a shame so many schools are cutting back on the arts.  I found these photographs to be much more interesting than the sterile similiarity provided by yearbook photos.  Some observations:

Things That I Love
I’m sure I was on some kind of assignment regarding light and composition or the like, but the subjects of the photos often reflected items I loved:

My Sister

My Brother (left)

My Cat


I Had Laid Back Friends
I had some very agreeable friends back then.  For some of the pictures, I tried to imagine myself approaching my contemporary social circle with a similiar request.  I expect I would have very little luck.  For example, here is Chad Day at a playground near my house.

Chad (aka Bill) on the jungle gym

I can’t even convince Sean to smile for a picture on the U.S.S. Constitution…or at my company picnic.  Can you imagine his face if I approached him with, “Say I have an idea!  Climb up on that jungle gym and hang upside down.” 

A Secret Fetish?
I also learned a few little lessons about myself looking at these pictures.  I seemed to like people, particularly my sister, staring off in space.  I had a lot of close-ups.  And….apparently I really liked guys laying on the ground with theirs arms behind their heads.  I had THREE of those: 

Kevin Pick

Todd Eidam (aka Skylar Youngblood)

John Harding (aka Wishy)

All my pictures that I scanned from my high school photography class are available on my Flickr site.

February 16, 2007 at 1:11 am 7 comments

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