Prince RIP

May. 25th, 2016 04:38 pm
csberry: (pumaman)
I wanted to give myself some time before I put down on my blog my feelings on the passing of Prince. I started writing this blog post about a week after his death. I got distracted and then totally forgot about it until I came to LJ just now to do another post and the site said it had a saved draft. So...below is a somewhat incomplete post about Prince's impact in my life.

********************************

One of the first things to come in mind was David Bowie's recent death. In that aftermath, I shared how he affected me. When I looked back at what I wrote on FB about him, much of what I said about Bowie goes a thousandfold for Prince. Maybe if I was 10 or 15 years older, Bowie would get the essential credit for influencing me. But as a guy who's formative years were in the 80's, Prince was my pop culture reference to a star who was androgynous, alien-like, and demonstrated musical genius on many albums with a sound that was both authentic to the artist and evolving into something new and different from the previous releases.

I first became aware of Prince with "I Wanna Be Your Lover" in the early 80's when I was 7-9 years old. I caught it on the radio a couple of times and liked it. A year or two later, Chaka Khan released "I Feel For You" and I somehow became aware of the Prince connection and that this meant I liked two of his songs (an important stat to keep in the olden days when singles were fine, but knowing you could get a bunch of songs you like for $8 or whatever was actually priceless). It was with the release of the various singles from 1999 - especially the exposure via Solid Gold - that I started to consider myself a Prince fan. (I may have also heard "Party Up" at some point during this period of my life. When I later bought a Dirty Mind/Controversy double-album cassette, "Party Up" sounded very familiar.

But I knew as a 10 year old, that I wasn't supposed to be part of Prince's fan base and that I probably shouldn't own any of his albums. I could enjoy "Little Red Corvette" as the Solid Gold dancers pranced around the stage or sing along with "1999" on the radio, but it never crossed my mind that I could buy the album and not get into some level of hassle or trouble with my parents for the purchase.

When Purple Rain came out, the push and pull on whether or not to buy an album became a practical concern and not just a passing dismissive thought. I enjoyed every song I heard. I wouldn't be shocked if I did buy a 45 of "When Doves Cry" but can't recall for certain and considering the 45s I've kept, I would expect that song to still be in my collection. If I didn't get a 45 of "When Doves Cry," I don't think I got up to buy my first Prince album until 1987 when Sign O the Times came out and I started 8th grade. I either got Sign or Purple Rain on cassette first at that age. From that point on, I started buying up previous and future releases.

Prince was my primary musical influence during high school. He quickly became the musical act of which I had the most albums and who I would most readily identify as my favorite. I never owned Purple Rain on vinyl, so when I broke one of my Walkmen so it wouldn't flip sides any more - instead merely playing the top side in reverse, the first thing I wanted to do was to put my cassette copy in and listen to the end of "Darling Nikki". I would recite the monologue from the end of "If I Was Your Girlfriend" to girls I was interested in. I dreamed of a woman who would be a combination of the females in "Starfish and Coffee" and "Raspberry Beret", as well as "Delirious" and "Do Me, Baby".

When I hiked the Appalachian Trail between my junior and senior year in high school, I took my Walkman and two cassettes. One of those cassettes was my Prince Dirty Mind/Controversy double album tapes. It was shortly after that trip, that Prince's influence really started to wane. Diamonds and Pearls was the album that I realized that Prince and I were parting ways; the headscratching I did with Graffiti Bridge wasn't just with that one project.

I did buy Emancipation and Crystal Ball. But didn't buy another Prince album until 3121.
csberry: (pumaman)
After being MIA for a few years, I figured out where I had stored away my text file with my wake playlist. I added a few songs I had jotted down on a post-it, but need to add a dozen or more songs to this soon.

If you outlive me and show up at my wake, here is what I have set for the playlist so far (in rough playing order):

(Definitely first) Prince – “Let’s Go Crazy”
Howard Jones – “Life in One Day”
XTC - “Grass”
Talking Heads - “Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place)”
Pixies “Wave of Mutilation (uptempo version)”
Bjork - “Hyperballad”
Eric Idle/Monty Python - "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"
Violent Femmes – “Blister in the Sun”
Barenaked Ladies – “Unfinished”
Ben Folds Five - “Underground”
Joe Jackson - “Steppin' Out”
The Grays – “Very Best Years”
Double Trouble – “In the Garden”
Beatles – “In My Life”
Jamie Cullum – “All at Sea”
Zero 7 - “Destiny”
Beach Boys – “God Only Knows”
“How Great Thou Art” - print lyrics and sing
Violent Femmes – “Good Feeling”
Crowded House – “All I Ask”
Jeff Buckley – “Last Goodbye”
csberry: (pumaman)
I'm a bit surprised that I have yet to write up this experience from college on LJ, so here we go. I don't know how many folks who know me have heard this one.

I think it was my second year at Bama. Dick Dale was scheduled to play at The Chukker (R.I.P.). Alas, I was still under 21 and Dick would be playing on a weekend - when a doorman would certainly be there to collect cover as well as check IDs. My usual weeknight trips with no doorman would do me no good on this night. That was until I started thinking through my observations.

The Chukker was close to Theatre Tuscaloosa (where I would spend many a late night working on a set) and another bar I could get into. One thing I had noticed was that the doorman at The Chukker let the drag queens and cross dressers that would wander over from Michael's come in without asking for IDs. A plan was afoot!

Thankfully, I had some good friends who had wardrobe that would work for me. I know that Sandee Curry has a pic somewhere of me in a bra and skirt in the midst of this gender conversion. I got all dolled up. All I was missing was a wig, but we did the best we could with my hair.

We get to the door, a few folks in front of me get carded, I get up to the doorman, and he merely asks me to pay the cover. It worked! I got in! I did get to see The King of Surf Guitar, Dick Dale, play live. Yes, it is true that the man melts a guitar pick during the course of each song. One of the more amazing guitar performances I've seen.

BUT WAIT...

So, while all that is great and all, the greatest moment actually happened in the middle of the concert. There I was jamming out to Dick Dale, when I feel a hand go around my torso. I feel a body getting really close behind me. Then I feel breath on my neck just before I hear a man's voice nearly yell something along the lines of,"You're really beautiful."

I do my damnedest not to flinch or burst into laughter. I slowly turned to him and said something like, "Thanks, I'm not told I'm beautiful often" in my most baritone tones. His eyes bulged, his face went slack, and this poor guy who probably wandered away from The Strip for the first time (frat t-shirt tucked into his khaki Dockers) slowly backed away from me while taking a big gulp from his bottle of beer.

csberry: (pumaman)
A couple of weekends ago, my little brother got married. Mike/Shortlegs married Amanda Rose on Nov 22, 2014 at the Church of the Assumption in Nashville's historic Germantown neighborhood.

I'd rather get this posted now kinda dirty than never post it because I'm busy trying to put everything in some sort of laid-out prose form...so prepare yourself for bullets!

* Mike asked me to be his best man, which meant I would be expected to provide a toast/speech at the rehearsal dinner on Friday night and at the wedding reception on Saturday evening. I tossed ideas around in my head for a while, but didn't settle on the theme for each toast until a couple of days beforehand. The bulk of both toasts were cobbled out and set in order within 24 hours of my giving them. I was also in charge of the wedding rings and I lost neither ring.

* The rehearsal dinner was at Husk in SoBro(?) (South of Broadway in downtown, just inside the interstate inner-loop) where we had fancy rustic food in their "stable" behind the main building. My toast during the dinner quickly noted that I don't have blackmail stories to share about Amanda, I know Mike keeps things to himself so I shouldn't share his blackmail material, so I was thus forced to talk about myself. I talked about how this marriage was killing the vicarious bachelor life I've lived through Mike and our bachelor weekends when I would visit. Those bachelor weekends ended with my coming home to family. Now, M&A were creating their own home...and in a dozen years when JD and I are empty nesters, M&A could live vicarious empty-nester lives through us.

* One of the bridesmaids shared the story of "Charlie." During her college years, Amanda worked out the qualities of her ideal man and gave that ideal man the "Charlie" moniker. For years, when the bridesmaid would talk to Amanda about who she was dating, she would ask if the guy was Charlie. Amanda never felt compelled to say yes. That is, until she met Mike/Ben. When the bridesmaid talked to Amanda after her first date with Mike, Amanda quickly volunteered that he was the "Charlie" she had been searching for.

* JD had a lot of wine to drink and got more drunk than I've seen her in a few years. She just couldn't stop herself from telling everyone how drunk she was.

* Woke up the morning of the wedding feeling discombobulated with a nagging feeling that I had or was about to drop a ball. It was about then that I got a text message from Mike about just bringing my wedding clothes instead of wearing them to lunch. Yup, 45 minutes later I was picked up from the hotel and spent the rest of the day with the groom, his men, and photographers. We had lunch at BLVD (I had a hot chicken sandwich, a goblet of Chimay white, and a glass of Yazoo's Dos Perros) and then headed to the bed & breakfast to get changed in the groom's suite.

* If there was a wedding tradition or superstition, Amanda tried to use them all in their favor. So, the first time M&A saw each other on their wedding day was when she appeared at the door at the back of the sanctuary. I know she was starting to cry before coming down. Since I was behind Mike for much of the time, I will take the maids' comments of Mike also crying on face value.

* The reception allowed me to enjoy more Yazoo beer by having Dos Perros available. Would have rocked if the hefe or Sly Rye Porter were available...

* The wedding reception toast I gave focused on Mike's multiple names and titles. Despite being named "Benjamin Michael Berry," my parents decided to call him "Mike." First he was my baby brother (insert memories here), then he was by little brother (insert memories here), before coming my teen brother (insert memories here) and getting the nickname of "Shortlegs" from Dad. At Auburn, Mike became Benjamin, then Benji, and finally Ben. He was an architect student, then became a landscape architect. Now he was taking on a new title - "Husband" - and so a new name - "Charlie" - was also at hand. I wished them well as Mike/Michael/Shortlegs/Ben/Benji/Benjamin continues to evolve into newer and greater titles.

* It was really good to see most of the relatives come to the wedding. There were some kids of one of my cousins that didn't come, but I got to see some of the Auburn wing of the family that I haven't seen in a decade or so.

* The Berry clan danced. And danced. I think Calvin logged the most time on the dance floor. I was second, Harper and JD were close at third, and Nigel was just barely behind them since he seemed the least certain on how to dance. I did the splits twice and came home with a baseball-sized bruise on the inside of my right knee from one or both of those splits. My FIL, Andy, took quite a bit of video of us all dancing. Once I've edited the video to compensate for his flipping the phone landscape after starting recording in portrait, I'll post a link.

* Amanda's family are Italian by heritage, so there were some Italian songs thrown into the mix. As things were winding down, the DJ asked for all of the Italians to get up on the dance floor. While that was going on, I sat in my seat pondering what ethnicity could possibly be used for my family. We're pretty darn "Southern" with one great-grandmother that was French and another that was Cherokee. I didn't think of the obvious, until the song was over and the DJ segued into "Sweet Home Alabama." It was then that my entire, extended family got out on the dance floor. Folks who wouldn't come to the floor for "The Twist" or any other song for the past 3 hours leapt from their tables and waved their hands above their heads.

* Danced so much at the reception, I found myself STARVED when we got back to the hotel. Thankfully, Hattie B's Hot Chicken was basically right across the street, so I got some hot tenders and tried Turtle Anarchy's Portly Stout while I waited for my order to be done.
csberry: (pumaman)
For whatever reason, my brain doesn't like to help me tell people apart. That, in turn, makes remembering people's names more difficult. When I head out to go to a public event, my usual top fear is running into someone "out of context" and not having a clue who that person is (from no idea at all to just not being able to decide on a person's name because she looks like both Ms. A and Ms. B).

I first saw something about this photographer a month or so ago but lost track of the link. This guy decided to take portraits of pairs of people - perfect strangers that look nearly identical.



Photographer Shows Proof of Shocking Similarities In Human Templates Between Complete Strangers

I struggle on how to react in social situations when I see people. I've ignored acquaintances because I was convinced about certain traits that I thought indicated it was not that person and there are times I've casually approached absolute strangers and started yammering completely assured of myself that I am speaking to an acquaintance or new friend.
csberry: (pumaman)
This was sooooooo great, I wanted to save it in my blog.

****

One of my most favorite people EVER is having a significant birthday today... Simply saying Happy Birthday to Cory Berry just isn't enough! So, here ya go, Honey... It's your very own Top Ten of Why Cory Berry is the Coolest Person I Know:
10. Placing rubber duckies in, literally, every public body of water in Huntsville (Big Spring Park, Braham Springs) in one very long night!
9. Never seen without Chuck's on your feet.
8. Eagle Scout! I will never forget going with you to finish your last Eagle requirement (watching a sunrise on Green Mountain; I don't get up THAT early for just anyone!)
7. Sitting upside down in physics class ALL. THE. TIME. and still making better grades than me... Praise the Lord you were my lab partner!
6. Dying your hair blue as an incentive to your Scout Troop.
5. Treadmills and coke bottles in Jennifer Sobotka Price's apartment... And that's all I have to say about that...
4. Growing out a mullet (just like the one you had in high school) when you were in your late 30's so that you could donate the hair to Locks of Love. You helped raise awareness with that mullet that everyone can do something!
3. Dressing up as a Robert Palmer girl for Senior Ambition Day... those are some remarkable legs you have!!! And, yes, that is a hint of jealousy you detect.
2. Telling my homophobic uncle, in your most effeminate voice, "Uncle Johnny, your legs are so sexy" as he walked across the room. I didn't know he could move that fast or that he could turn that particular shade of red and still be upright!
And last but not least.... the conversation you and my mom had one afternoon when you came to pick me up...
1. My Mom, "Cory, you drive carefully, you're carrying precious cargo"
Cory: bends at the waist and looks at his crotch, then raises up and smiles at my mom and says... "I know!"
My Mom: "Cory Berry!"
Me: Snorting with laughter, of course!
Happy Birthday, my friend! You make this crazy world a much better place for anyone who is blessed enough to know you. I love you bunches, Honey! NOSE! QUARK!!!
csberry: (Oh My Joel)
I was looking at the pictures I have on my laptop just now (realized how old my wallpaper is and felt an urgent need to change it) and found a sad piece of evidence.

For a few years, I worked sound for the contemporary service at my church. Although I was only expected to take care of vaguely placing musical instruments on stage when setting up the various mics and sound cables, I was raised to do my best. If I'm going to do something, I don't want to do it half-assed. The stage was memorized by me and reinforced by notes and drawings I put in my notebook. I went to the point of photographing the drum kit after the drummer had everything set as he liked it. This all culminated in my making an illustrated guide for people who ran sound.

drum-setup

And this is from my first guide. When we did a new service at a roller rink for a year, I had a series of diagrams showing the layout of all of the instruments, amps, monitors, speakers, mics, power cables, and audio cables - and what order each should be set down on the stage. But that isn't handy, so I can't share those gems.
csberry: (normal completely different)
I altered the names of one of the folders on my server recently, so old links won't work any more. I'm putting the updated links here for future reference.

1. RoadKill Squeezes the Charmin - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-Charmin.mp3
2. RoadKill Pitches a Song on Music Row - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-MusicRow.mp3
3. RoadKill Gets Arrested - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-Airport.mp3
4. RoadKill Drives a Monster Truck - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-MTruck.mp3
5. RoadKill Rolls a Yard - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-RollsYard.mp3
6. RoadKill Hands Out Roses (Meets the Cashes) - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-Roses-Cash.mp3
7. RoadKill Searches For an Honest Person - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-Honesty.mp3
8. RoadKill Goes For the Full Monty - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-Monty.mp3
9. RoadKill Trapped in CMA Closet - http://people.ironicdesign.com/cberry/AnKarloMornings/Audio/RK-CMAcloset.mp3

My personal favorite is the Charmin one. There is definitely "theater of the mind" going on with RK Rolls a Yard (although I was at Dick's house and he was convinced I did the pranks) and CMA Closet. Otherwise, what you hear actually did happen.
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
I wrote the following a little while ago on mulletsoflove.com. It turned a little more emotional than I had intended for that location. Since it is exactly the kind of post I was planning on putting here on LJ, I've decided to just copy/paste it here.

I'm overloaded with nervous excitement about finally reaching this day. The mullet will come off tonight. In just under two years, I've gone from my conservative businessman cut to this shaggy version of a mullet. There were times I questioned why I was growing this beast on my head. There were times I wished I could just go ahead and cut it off. But thanks to prayer and remembering the kids that I hope will benefit from my hair, I was able to sweat my way through this summer, smile my way through my 20th high school reunion, and get to today with a monstrous amount of hair on the back of my head.

I will be getting the hair cut at my Boy Scout troop's weekly meeting tonight. Stephanie Bates, my hair stylist, will be there to take her electric trimmer to the back of my head. Friends and family have been invited to watch. A local TV station and the local newspaper will have folks present to document the moment. In the end, I hope that the effort I've put into this mullet and explaining it to others over the past couple of years will influence others to take steps to increase the amount of charitable work they do. I hope people find ways to integrate helping those around them and the earth we live upon into their everyday life.

I have done nothing spectacular. I just let my hair grow for a while. While the motto I came up with for Mullets of Love is "Business in front, charity in back," I hope it is obvious that charitable work is actually front-and-center for me. It is so easy to worry and criticize society and the world around us. We need more people (not just leaders and "others," but each one of us) to actually take action. When walking to and from the stores this Christmas season, keep a eye out for trash and pick it up. When buying presents, grab one extra one for you to donate to Toys for Tots or other charitable causes. Donate your long hair to Locks of Love or a pint of your blood to the American Red Cross. Spend time visiting with the sick in hospitals or elderly in nursing homes. There are plenty of things each of you can do to help make this world a better place. Just find something that suits you and do it.
csberry: (normal completely different)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Ever since my teen years, I knew I wanted to be cremated, I just didn't know where I wanted my ashes spread. For a while, I wanted them spread at the old creek pool at Camp Sumantanga. However, about 15 years ago I settled on my "final decision" - Washington D.C. at the White House, U.S. Capitol, and Supreme Court building. Yup, I want my ashes balanced between the branches. Ain't I such a patriot!?

Since 9/11, I've been coming to terms with the fact that this wish may not be possible. I certainly don't want JD* and my kids to get tackled by government agents thinking they are sprinkling some sort of chemical weapon. If my wishes can't go as I really want, I'm just hoping for them to somehow get spread in D.C. - preferably somewhere around The Mall. Oh, JD has expressed interest in maybe keeping a portion of my ashes around the house. As long as they end up in D.C. or somehow "kept" with her after death, I promise not to haunt any of my offspring over the issue. ;)



* I KNOW JD will outlive me and I just don't want to think about what life would be like if I didn't go first.
csberry: (DonnaOMG)
Last Wednesday morning I was up early because the weather radio was sending out alerts like crazy overnight and throughout the day. Things were seemingly going well. None of the tornadoes seemed aimed for the south side of town. They were all going to the north of us or really far south.

But you don't have to get hit directly to be affected. Around 5:20pm last Wednesday, a storm/tornado finally made a big, wide-reaching impact. The line of external power to the local nuclear plant and the three main lines that run from the plant to the various cities of North Alabama were knocked out. As in...the HUGE metal towers were now scrap. Essentially power between Florence (in NW AL) all the way across the northern portion of the state to the Georgia border was knocked out. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) would have to completely rebuild the towers for those three feed lines before anyone in the north portion of the state could get power.

There was one exception to this. A town just north of the plant (for some reason) has a direct power link to the plant and their electricity was still flowing. Come Thursday, Athens, Alabama was the hub of emergency commerce. It was the only city that citizens of Huntsville, Decatur, and their surrounding metro areas could go for gas and other supplies.

On Thursday, JD and I weren't certain how long the power was going to be off. What we learned via FB and the radio was it would be somewhere between 2 and 7 days before TVA could build replacement towers to send power to the cities and then have the power restored to our house. We decided to go ahead and trash all of the food that we didn't think we could keep cool or wouldn't otherwise use in the next 3 days. We threw as much of the meat and other frozen items we could into a cooler, packed up suitcases with 4 or 5 days worth of clothes, and headed to JD's parents' house. They didn't have power, but they have a gas stove and a propane grill. Thursday was spent making that move and doing our best to make certain nothing was on or going to spoil or stink if we were out of our house for 3+ days.

My fil and I were already scheduled to attend a learning conference in Nashville on Saturday. I had planned on staying Friday night with my brother. With the power outage, my fil decided that he was willing to pay for two hotel rooms for a couple of nights so we could all go to Nashville. On Friday morning, a couple of nearby gas stations got generators and were pumping gas...for those willing to wait 45+ minutes in line. I ensured I had enough gas to get into TN and returned home to pack up the family.

We spent Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon in Nashville. Shortlegs got to see us for a few hours each day we were there. While I and my fil were at the conference on Saturday, JD and my mil took the kids to the zoo. On Sunday, we visited the kids science center. We returned to Huntsville just before sunset on Sunday. News was that power from TVA was starting to flow and that it should be available to residences some time Tuesday afternoon.

However...around 9pm, the power came on at my in-law's house. Yeah, it was quite a surprise and we kept expecting the power to go back off. But it didn't. As I lay on the floor browsing the internet Sunday night, I started to see little announcements that the president was planning on addressing America on TV. It didn't take long for word that it was an announcement of Osama Bin Laden's death to get out. I walked to the steps, saw my in-laws were in bed reading and let them know of the situation. My fil came downstairs and joined me in waiting for and then watching the president's announcement. Sunday was quite an adventure.

On Monday morning, we packed everything up of ours and headed for the house. After dealing with a faulty outlet that kept the circuit for both the kitchen fridge and the computers/modem in the "dining room," things started to slip into a minor task of putting away everything we brought back and doing some minor straightening.

Utilities and the city have been asking for folks to conserve water and energy as everything gets running again, so I have yet to do laundry, but otherwise have the house back to normal. One thing that happened during the power outage was that I pulled out the Settlers of Catan game I got for Christmas. JD bought it for me after reading about it via some of her friends. Thankfully, the boys were interested in playing and then completely got into the game. The only caveat being that the boys don't have the attention span for a full game yet, so they end up taking turns playing one player every few minutes. But I got to play the game 3 or 4 times in a couple of days.
csberry: (cocktails)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

I have a favorite drink (non-alcoholic) that I just call "my concoction." If other people drank it, I'd love for it to have my name tagged onto it. It is exceptionally easy - equal parts of Mountain Dew and orange juice.
csberry: (completely different cross-dressing)
On Saturday, I attended the council's University of Scouting training day at Cullman High School (a small city about half way between Birmingham and Huntsville). The alarm went off at 5:45am...far earlier than I've awoken in months. I wasn't certain if I was going to get the preferred classes I signed up for in pre-registration and wanted to get there early if I needed to alter my schedule. Registration started at 7:30am and the opening ceremony was to begin at 8:45am, so I was aiming to get there around 8am. I was ready to leave the house early and the trip was shorter than anticipated, so I had a lot of time to kill between grabbing my schedule and when things started kicking into gear. I sat in the high school's auditorium killing time and trying not to fall asleep. When one of the scouts from my troop showed up, he verified that I looked dead tired.

I spent much of the day distracted by the school. The high school consists of several buildings grouped together with covered walkways connecting them. I've never been to a school where each building was essentially a hallway of classes and exterior covered sidewalks connected each of these hallway clusters.* It was a very rainy day, so some of my enthusiasm of attending a school of this sort was tempered by how wet I got below the knees from the blowing rain.

The cost of high school text books was another thing highlighted. Every class had the text book required for the class in the desk. No personal copies for these students. Considering the size of the text books, they certainly looked like they would compete with some of my college books on cost. I was already expecting to see whiteboards instead of blackboards, but was intrigued that every room had a SMARTboard. I just wish I could have seen them at work for any other purpose than a screen for the projected computer images.

When not daydreaming about what it would be like as a student at Cullman High, I was on the lookout for a high school friend of mine's twin boys. Liz and I were really good friends in high school and she has obviously regaled her twin sons with stories of our/my quirks and hi-jinx. Each time they spotted me, they'd touch my nose and say "Nose!" (something I did in high school), grunt "quark" (something Liz and I did during physics class), and call me "Honey" (which was how Liz usually addressed me and, to much laughter, accidentally my dad). I tried to warn the boys I had a cold and a runny nose, but they didn't pay that any mind. So...I hope they aren't sick this week. :)

The following may only be of interest to [livejournal.com profile] chris21718, who shares my enjoyment of exploring back roads. ;)

The trip was also nice in that I took a route I haven't taken in years. Twenty some-odd years ago, when traveling from Huntsville to B'ham, my family would take Hwy 231 south out of Huntsville, across the Tennessee River, and head west on state hwy 36...but instead of taking it to I-65 in Hartselle, we turned SW at Cotaco (essentially an intersection with a few abandoned businesses and a couple of gas stations) from 36 to take "Eva Road" that ran past Brewer HS, through Eva, and we'd take that to Cullman, where we would turn west onto hwy 157 to join up with I-65. My dad said it saved a few minutes when he timed it in the 80's. Now that we have I-565 joining Huntsville to I-65, a lot of people don't take 36 anymore and I certainly haven't had a reason to take Eva Road even when taking 36. On Saturday, I took that route and learned something particularly cool considering my circumstances. The north end of Eva Road is at 36 in Cotaco. The south end of the road comes to a halt in Cullman...right in front of Cullman High School. I had never ventured further south than state hwy 157 on Eva Road, so it was neat to see that just a couple of curves later on the road, I was delivered to my destination.


* The first comment you'll typically hear from folks that attended my high school alma mater is how Grissom doesn't have windows. Students navigate via an interior hallway that encircles the school office/AV Room downstairs and the library upstairs. Branching from that central circle are "pods" where the hallway goes to the middle of each octagonal pod with class rooms making up slices of each octagon pie-like pod. To see the weather, you had to go out of the building for a portable classroom or head to the south wing of the school where there was a large glass-fronted hallway between the classroom area and the gym, lunchroom, and music wing.
csberry: (completely different cross-dressing)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

I'm proud of the fact that I developed the goal and habit of becoming friends with females I was romantically interested in during my high school years. Yes, there was much frustration caused by this approach as a teen and college student as that women I desired just became "special friends" with me. We had intimate relationships without the physical stuff. That often lead to me remaining in irregular contact with many of my former girlfriends.

One of those "special friends" is THE reason I am on LiveJournal. I was in St. Louis at the time and she emailed me about how we could remain in better contact via LJ. And for months, she was my only Friend on the site.

It wasn't until Facebook that I was able to regain stable contact with all of my former girlfriends. They all seemed to have good memories and feelings toward me. While a few may have had traits that I found annoying as a boyfriend, none of that was bad enough for me to not be friends with them since then. I can only think of one woman I dated for 3-4 months in college that I have never regained contact with...mostly because I don't remember her name any more.
csberry: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

As an Army Brat, my childhood wasn't conducive to creating long-lasting friendships. My best friend from 2nd to 4th grade was Justin Peterson. He went to Spain and I went to Tuscaloosa, AL. We talked on the phone once a couple of years later. Justin seemed to barely remember me at all. That was really heartbreaking for me.
csberry: (Not Naughty)
It took much gnashing of teeth to think of a song to fit and then took myself a while to decide to be open and share the song and the reason why it makes me feel guilty. There isn't anything about the song itself that makes me feel guilty, it is how I once used it.

There was a woman (who shall go unnamed) that I had become every emotionally attached to in college. As someone with a certain flair for Hollywood-dramatic gestures, when I left her apartment upset about how our relationship was going...my brain dialed up the appropriate teen movie reference. I hopped in my car and blared Peter Gabriel's "Blood of Eden" (since I had my cassette of Us in the car) outside her bedroom window that faced the parking lot. About half way through the song, she came out, told me to turn off the damned music, and come back inside. Yes, it was a horribly sappy and contrived thing to do. I feel guilty and embarrassed for doing it and forcing her into that scenario. Although I really think Us is a great album, I rarely listen to it because my whole body just cringes when I get to "Blood of Eden" (which, admittedly, is a beautiful song).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXtr-iTqMEE
csberry: (May not get to death)
After the success I had with the wedding reception soundtrack, it seemed obvious to me that I needed to put together a playlist for my wake/funeral. Once folks have gathered and someone has stepped forward to do an introduction, the music will start and the drinking and storytelling will begin. The obvious first song to me was "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince. The spoken introduction and song were an obvious fit, IMO, for a wake.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtlc30v-qd8&feature=related


...and, for the curious, the current status of my wake playlist is back here. )
csberry: (Default)
Once again, I needed to narrow down my selection to one song. I did so by picking a song that doesn't have any other emotional/memory connection than to a singular event.

That combo is Suzanne Vega's "In Liverpool" and my leaving a music festival in the Tri-cities area of NE Tennessee (Johnson City, Bristol, and Kingsport). Kerri Freeze had invited me up and we were staying with some of her relatives. 99.9 F Degrees was a favorite album of mine at the time and I vividly recall belting along with this song as we wove our way through the hills and woods as we left the park that night. It is impossible for me to hear or think of "In Liverpool" and not think about that night and that weekend.

Chorus:
"And the boy in the belfry
He's crazy, he's throwing himself
Down from the top of the tower
Like a hunchback in heaven
He's ringing the bells in the church
For the last half an hour
He sounds like he's missing something
Or someone that he knows he can't
Have now and if he isn't
I certainly am"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0df0racc3vk&ob=av2e
csberry: (Default)
When I worked in Dallas, I lived in the East Dallas/M-Streets area and the radio station was in Uptown. One of the highlights of each work day occurred during the 4am hour as I emerged from my neighborhood and entered the yellowish glow of Central Expressway. Just to my southwest was the vertical glow of Dallas's nighttime skyline. It was so cool to have so many skyscrapers lit up at night - from the green argon glow of the Bank of America building to the criss-crossing X's on the Renaissance Tower to the light-dotted sphere atop the Reunion Tower.


(This image isn't taken from the angle I saw the city, but I think you get the point.)

After several months, I started to notice a song playing on the radio on many of these commutes to the station. Despite the fact the song is actually about a completely different city AND that Journey is very high on my cheesy-meter, I now have a very warm spot in my heart from my associating these morning "I've made it!" moments with Journey's "Lights."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjyuoweWJ60
csberry: (dead parrot)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

My earliest memory is from about 3 years of age. My parents took me to a zoo. I saw some ducks next to the pond. I decided I really wanted to pet a duck. When I reached out to do so, it bit me on my right index finger. It really hurt!

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Profile

csberry: (Default)
Cory Berry

June 2016

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
121314 15161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Most Popular Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 09:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios