Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Blog The Revenge

OK, so I'm feeling silly and ripping off the title of the fourth "Jaws" movie, the infamously colon-less (the punctuation, not the body part) sequel.

However, it's been brought to my attention that I haven't posted in quite some time.

Thus, since, as Steve Vai once said, "the audience is listening," a post for your reading and clicking pleasure.

First, let me draw your attention to Stewie's Metro Reading blog, where there is an ongoing (if slightly one-sided) discussion of the terrific horror author Gary A. Braunbeck and some of his work.

Mr. Braunbeck is, in addition to an author, a professor at the fantastic-sounding Master's in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill (not to be confused with Seton Hall). It sounds so cool, I sent away for information, but then I realized I don't have $20K lying around, and if I did, I'd probably spend it on wrestling figures, adult DVDs and stuffed munkees.

By the way, I was also asked by a reader why I insist on misspelling "monkey." Munkee, I should suggest for those new to the blog, is not just an animal, it's a saying. More, it's a way of life.

And now, a survey, courtesy of The Lesley.

This one is, apparently, high-school based. And as for the missing numbers, well, ask the Patron Saint. I cut-and-pasted.

1. Who was your best friend?
Two, really: Turbo and Dave. Turbo I've mostly lost touch with. Dave's my best friend to this day.

2. What sports did you play?
Soccer and tennis, neither well enough to earn a varsity letter, but both well enough to get hurt.

Tennis: Strained (read: torn) rotator cuff, right shoulder.
Soccer: Bruised spleen; strained (read: torn) MCL and meniscus, left knee.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
1985 Mercury Cougar, light blue. Lasted nearly a decade, and in HS one of my friends dubbed me "Cougar," in its honor, after the pilot in "Top Gun."

I always thought it was kind of appropriate. Cougar's the hotshot who's supposed to go to Top Gun, but he chokes on a mission and quits. I've made quite a living out of being overrated myself.

4. It's Friday night, where were you?
Downtown, hanging out on street corners (against my parents' wishes) and at the (now defunct) pool hall.

Redneck pool hall: On the jukebox, Garth Brooks. When not Metallica.

Yeah, I know all the words to "Enter Sandman" and "Friends in Low Places."

5. Were you a party animal?
No. Never popular enough.

Until, that is, my Dad drew the freshman comp rotation at Bloom U. my senior year. His reputation preceded him. Thus, the invites to parties poured in.

6. Were you considered a flirt?
No. In fact, a girl who was trying to get me into the sack actually asked me if it was true I was training to be a monk.

Can Jews be monks? Or just munkees?

7. Ever skip school?
No. Not for lack of desire. I actually missed Senior Skip Day with an excused absence (college visit). How humiliating.

9. Were you in any clubs?
Drama. Four years, one lead (John Proctor, "The Crucible," junior year fall drama), two major roles (Dr. Corrasco, "Man of La Mancha," junior year spring musical, and the detective, whose name escapes me, in "Special Guest," senior year fall competition show).

I might point out that, in the senior year spring musical, "A Chorus Line," I got no role. None. See above note (ref: "Cougar") on failing in the clutch.

10. Suspended?
No. But not for lack of trying, during the Wendy Wars of junior year.

11. Can you sing the fight song?
I could probably sing the alma mater, though "sing" is a generous term (ask anyone who heard my six lines of solo in "Man of La Mancha). I don't think we had a fight song. Most of our athletic teams didn't put up much fight.

12. Who was your favorite teacher?
Mrs. Casteel, the now-retired drama director, but still an English teacher.

13. What was your favorite class?
Theatre Arts. Mostly. I was good at school, but I'm not sure how much I liked it.

14. What was your school's full name?
Bloomsburg High School, though technically it might have been Bloomsburg Area Senior High School or some such.

15. School mascot?
The panther, baby!

Did you know: Per Wikipedia, and I quote, "In North America, particularly the United States, "panther" by itself refers to a cougar when the context implies a local species." See, this cougar thing has come full circle.

16. Did you go to dances?
Yes. On occasion, I actually danced at them.

With a girl.

17. If you could go back and do it over again, would you?
I don't know. High school had its moments, but it wasn't always the happiest time in my life. I think I'd rather do college again.

Though I loved (in no particular order) the stage; my two minutes of varsity soccer and varsity tennis exhibition win; my first girlfriend; losing my virginity (TMI? ... and not the same girl, I might add); discovering creative writing; sportswriting; my friends; graduation and all that came with it; learning to drink; learning to drive (not together, of course); hanging out downtown; the Wendy Wars; the Three Felony, Eight Misdemeanor Car Ride; Regional drama (now there's a story for another day)... and I'm sure there's more.

If you'll indulge me and allow me to quote myself, in my graduation speech, I said: "As classmates, we have known success and we have known failure. We have known victory and defeat, happiness and tragedy." All true. And that means plenty of memories. But that doesn't mean I'd do it again. I survived one tour, I suspect I'd be tempting fate to sign up for another.

18. What do you remember most about graduation?
My speech. I kept it short: Nick's Rule of Speechgiving. It got plenty of compliments. But most important, my grandmother got to hear it.

19. Favorite memory of your Senior Year?
The competition show, going up to Regionals. Where, of course, I bombed, but it's a great story to tell. (Someday, if I haven't already.)

20. Were you ever posted up on the senior wall?
I don't even know what a senior wall is.

22. Where did you go most often for lunch?
That would be the cafeteria. Where else? We couldn't leave, just go outside.

23. Have you gained weight since high school?
Are you reading that chart on the right? I'm up 75 pounds, but shrinking.

24. What did you do after graduation?
Right after? Fought with my parents over whether I had to go home and spend time with my relatives rather than go party with my Turbo. (I partied with Turbo. OK, it was a dick move, but I missed out on years of partying because I was a social misfit.)

Or, in more of a big-picture sense, went to college.

25. When did you graduate?
June 5, 1992

26. Where are most of your classmates?
Hell if I know. Some never made it out of town. The lucky ones scattered to the four winds. At least, that's the impression I got from the reunion a few years ago.

27. Did you have a high school sweetheart?
I had two high-school girlfriends, my first ever. Not sure either counts as a sweetheart. I dated one for almost exactly a month, and the other for about three.

28. Have you changed since?
I changed during. Just no one noticed. But yes, I've changed since. A lot, and not just in pants size.

29. Have you been to your high school since you graduated?
I went back once or twice my freshman year of college, then the summer afterward to cover some events for the paper, maybe. And then years later, I went back for Mrs. C's drama retirement show. But I suspect that's it.

It's not like I miss it that much.

1 Comment:

Aric Blue said...

High school--if I only think about it for a moment it was great. But when I REALLY remember it, it was painful.