I am in this to make friends.

Unlike the people in this depressing montage of clips from reality TV shows, I am here to make friends. This is the single biggest problem I have with reality TV. They’ve turned the word friends into a dirty word.  Granted, I wouldn’t want to be friends with any of these people in this clip, but I think you’re totally cool.  Call me.

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I was once bitten by a vampire.

When she said she was a vampire, I just thought it was bawdy talk.

So, I was going through my blog’s stats to look for possible search terms for another edition of “Freaky Search Friday,” but I had so many to choose from I had to put the post on the back burner  because I am busy writing a new book. (BTW – That sentence was almost 50 words long.  Beat that!)  In other words, I ran out of time, but for a really good reason.  That’s also why I haven’t been on the blog as much recently.  This new book is just flowing out of me like water out of a fountain.  It’s actually really fun, so I haven’t wanted to distract myself with my usual insightful posts.

Instead of a “Freaky Search Friday” post, I want to share with you one search term that came up a number of times, a disturbingly large number of times.  It was, “Real Vampire Pictures,” or some variation of that term. The point is people were looking for information on real vampires.

Let me be perfectly clear on this point.  Vampires are not real.  They don’t exist.  Okay, yes I was once bitten in college by a girl who said she was a vampire.  And, yes she bit a couple of other guys that night.  And, yes I woke up with two very distinct fang marks on my neck, and it really freaked my roommate and me out.  And,  yes this vampire coed may have warned me that others would be coming for me because she had marked me, but they haven’t.  And I’m sure… relatively sure, it will never happen.   And I think I heard one of the other guys she bit died shortly thereafter… holy crap!  Vampires are real!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, they aren’t real, but the story about me being bitten in college by a girl claiming to be a vampire is 100% true.  And, she really did leave fang marks. She was a very polite vampire because she asked me if she could bite me before she did.  In my defense, I didn’t think bite actually meant bite.  We had a serious communication problem.  The relationship was doomed from the beginning.

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The Real Creed Bratton from The Office

Creed - Funky and Funny

I have recently come to a very important decision in my life.  I’ve decided that my favorite character on NBC’s The Office is Creed Bratton.  I could give you a series of esoteric yet brilliant reasons, but it really just boils down to he just cracks me up.  In fact, I think when Steve Carrell leaves after next season, the producers should make a totally outrageous move and make Creed the new boss.

I did some digging into the actor who plays Creed Bratton and was astonished to learn that his name is actually Creed Bratton.  He’s a really interesting guy. He played guitar in a 60’s folk rock band called The Grass Roots.  Yes, Creed was a hippie.  What kind of revolutionary, antiestablishment hipster was he?  Here’s an excerpt from his bio that sounds like something he would say on the show.

They appeared in the magazines of the times and were highly promoted. Not so promoted was the fact of drug arrests. The band had a famous incident in Seattle where they caught sharks from their hotel window and left their rooms bloody. Creed had an infamous acid trip on stage at the Fillmore with concert promoter Bill Graham screaming at him …and him dropping his pants and strolling casually off stage…where he proceeded to lecture to all who would listen on the meaning of life….and of course Creed’s habit of running naked through small towns next to the tour bus on bets from the band.

To which I say, “HA! That is so Creed!”

You can read his entire bio here – Creed Bratton

Here’s a video of Grass Roots (Creed’s the guitarist on the left wearing a striped shirt.  He kind of looks like Rainn Wilson).

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Monday Book Review – Nathaniel Philbrick Does it Again!

Philbrick is on top of his game with Sea of Glory.

I finished a great book a few weeks ago, and I just haven’t had time to post my review until now.  The book? Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition by Nathaniel Philbrick.  If you’re a frequent visitor to this blog (Hi, mom), you’ll know that I loved Philbrick’s book, In the Heart of the Sea.  He’s great at spinning a maritime tale and making it relatable to the non-seafaring types like me.  I wouldn’t know a yardarm from an octopus’s leg, but I found myself totally immersed in these two books.  There is no one better at taking nonfiction and making it read like a fast paced novel than Philbrick.

His real talent is vividly painting multi-dimensional characters that compel you to read until your eyes cross with anticipation. Sea of Glory is full of real life sailors that you pull for and hate.  But Philbrick brilliantly makes this a book about two men.  One motivated by blinding ambition, Charles Wilkes  and another motivated by a sense of adventure and duty, William Reynolds.

The U.S. Exploring Expedition was a massive undertaking by a young country in 1838 to map the entire Pacific Ocean.  It required six sailing vessels and hundreds of men and would capture the imagination of the entire nation.  Uncharted islands would be explored.  The Antarctic Continent would be discovered and countless specimens would be brought back and serve as the building blocks for the Smithsonian Institution.  But the hardship of the expedition drove its commander, Charles Wilkes, to unspeakable acts of cruelty towards his own men and the peoples of one island nation in particular (although most would see it as a justifiable act).  At the conclusion of the expedition in 1842, instead of returning a hero to the country (something he desperately longed for), Wilkes was brought up on charges and court marshaled.  William Reynolds, a fan of Wilkes at the outset of the voyage, would spend much of his life after the voyage trying to make sure that Wilkes paid for his deplorable behavior during the expedition.

Philbrick is a supreme storyteller, and I can’t recommend this book enough.  If you want to learn about probably the most important event in US history that you’ve most likely never heard about, this is a fantastic way to soak it and enjoy an excellent writing in the process.

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