Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Everybody go watch The Hammer!

I have never done anything like this before, but recently I mailed a DVD cover (of his movie, The Hammer) to Adam Carolla to see if I could get him to sign it for me. And he did! Look:

Neato. I started wondering about contacting other famous people. If I picked a dozen or so famous people and wrote to them, how many would write back? I think it would be an interesting experiment to try a few and see what happens. Sending an email or a letter is pretty quick and easy, and if I hear back, how exciting would that be?

So I'm going to give it a shot. I made a list of celebrities that I like, and I'm going to write them quick notes to let them know. If any of these people wrote back, I'd be pretty thrilled.

People who I'm sure there is no chance at all that I'll get an answer from, but what the hell:
JK Rowling (ha!)
Adam Ant
Dana White
David Bowie
Ellen Degeneres

People who I think I might have at least a slight possibility at hearing back from:
Andrew Vachss
Jennifer Crusie
Fannie Flagg
Forrest Griffin
Augusten Burroughs
Neil Gaiman
Penn Gillette
Judy Blume

I am all UFC-oriented right now, having just re-watched the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (I love Forrest Griffin's fight with Stephan Bonner in the finale) and remembered how much I appreciate Forrest Griffin's weird sense of humor. And I have plenty of opinions about the UFC and what Dana White is doing wrong (don't get me started on how I feel about them having bikini models as ring-girls but not letting great female fighters like Gina Carano compete). So I'm going to start with Forrest Griffin and Dana White.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have decided to try to trace my family tree. I got a cool program that lets me keep track of all my family members, and it is shocking me by forcing me to realize how little I know about my family -- even the ones who are still here. I am having so much trouble remembering distant cousin's kids names. I guess it shouldn't be too surprising, but somehow it seems like family information should be hard-wired into my brain.

I have been able to trace my father's mother's family back to the 1700's, and funnily enough, they were all right there in the same part of southwestern Virginia that I grew up in. My dad's father's family came from Scotland, and I'm having way more trouble finding out anything about them. Anybody got any tips for researching stuff like this without spending any money?

I went up to Gainesville GA to visit Mom over Labor Day weekend, and while I was there she got the news that her brother had passed away. He was 90, had retired from the Navy and was living in a VA nursing home in Washington DC. He had been sick for a while. Poor Mom, she is having a pretty hard time. She has an older brother, who lives in a retirement home in Los Angeles, CA after retiring from being a German professor at UCLA, and a younger brother who lives with his wife in New Hampshire. They are all getting old, and it's often depressing. They speak on the phone often, and send pictures in Christmas cards, but it's been decades since they all were together.

I have been trying very hard to be cheerful lately after moping around and grieving the first half of the year, but crappy stuff keeps happening. I'm okay, though. I am finding it kind of comforting to catalogue my family, and I think Mom is getting kind of a kick out of me constantly asking for people's birthdays and middle names and stuff.

We did have a good visit, other than her brother's death (and I am glad I was there with her when she heard). We got her two new bras at JC Penny's, which was very exciting I can tell you, and we had shrimp cocktails at Red Lobster, and we went for walks around her building, and we watched Deal or No Deal, and we went through some old photos, and ate breakfast for dinner at IHOP. It was fun. I like my Mom.