Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Decade Decoded

The last ten years had a lot of ups and downs. I'm pretty sure I can't list them all, but I think I can hit the high points...
  • I spent the first few hours of each of the first two years in the Emergency Room. Once was for a dislocated shoulder. The other was for bronchitis. Neither of those were fun experiences.
  • I saw hundreds of movies, but none of them were able to top Back to the Future for me.
  • I spent time in a country other than the United States. Twice.
  • I started and dropped out of graduate school. Twice.
  • I changed career paths. Twice. (And would really like to do that again please.)
  • I lost a parent.
  • I gained a step-parent.
  • I played a role in no fewer than eight weddings.
  • Two of those marriages have ended in divorce. Take that, national average!
  • I've stopped talking to friends I had at the beginning of the decade that I thought I'd be close to for the rest of my life.
  • I've become closer to some people than I ever thought I would at the beginning of the decade.
  • I didn't go fishing. Not once.
  • Pretty sure I only went camping twice.
  • I can't imagine how I made it through college without a cell phone. 'Cause now, I can't imagine why I would possibly need a land line.
  • While I enjoyed living with each of the six roommates I had in the last ten years, now that I've had a taste of living on my own, I'm not sure I could go back to having a roommate again.
  • I haven't had a single pet of any kind in this decade.
  • I don't think another TV show will ever engross me the way Lost did.
  • I thought Bob Barker would be on The Price is Right forever. I was wrong.
  • I thought I would be making more money than I am now. I was way wrong.
So here's to 2010. Let's hope things are still heading up hill...

End of the Year

It's the last day of the year. If I had time, I'd sit down and right some sort of year in review, but I don't have time. I have a pretty full day ahead of me. So you're just getting a video today. I'm sorry if that disappoints some, but come back tomorrow and I promise there will be some all new excitement.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Legends of the Bank Teller - Episode LXVII

It's been a while since I've written about work. There are reasons for that. Chief among them, everyone at work knows how to find my blog now. This makes for some tense times if I become disgruntled and write something unfavorable about a coworker. Even if I leave names out of it. Funny how they're able to figure things like that out.

But this post has nothing to do with anyone that I work with. I promise.

A couple weeks ago I was tellering, as I often do, and a customer approached the counter from the lobby side of things. Normally, I would ignore such a thing, but since I was the only free teller at the moment and there were no cars at the drive through lane, I decided to do what I was getting paid for. I asked the woman if I could help her.

"If I want to withdraw money, do I need to use the ATM outside or can I just do that in here?"

I told her of course she could get money inside, she'd just need to fill out a withdrawal ticket. And show me some ID so I could find her account number.

"Oh, I don't have an account here."

Really? In that case, you'll definitely need to go to the ATM. Now, maybe this is a new one to me, but if you have an account with Bank A, do you really expect to go into Bank B to withdraw your money? Use your brain lady.

And she looked at me like I was the moron.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Opinions Needed

The other day I wrote here that I was going to be changing the blog once 2010 hits. But for that to happen, I need some opinions.

Seeing as how I have approximately three readers, I certainly don't want to alienate you, the faithful few. But I'd also like to welcome new readers as well.

So this is where you come in. In the comments, let me know what you'd like to see.

I'll be changing the site address, but should I start fresh or import all of my old posts, basically keeping the blog the same?

Should I drastically alter the look of the blog?

Should I come up with funnier things to post?

Should I break down and finally get that tattoo I've been putting off for years?

Should I begin doing those periodic video blogs that I'd been dreaming of, or do I have a face for radio?

These are questions that only you can answer. I leave my future in your capable hands.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Greatest Hits: Carpetland

Originally posted on 6/14/2008:

Long ago, back in my college years, a few of us were presented with an interesting opportunity. The few were myself, Clint, Sarah, and Cassie. All of us sang together in a couple different groups in those days. When I've written about singing in college and claimed that I got to sing with some of the most talented people I've heard, those three are some of the ones I'm talking about.

One day after Variations rehearsal, Chris Sheppard, our director, pulled the four of us aside. He mentioned that he had received a phone call from the owner of a local business. This Bluefield business owner was in need of four singers to perform a jingle for an upcoming commercial. So Mr. Sheppard gave the guy our names.

We got in touch with the owners of Carpetland in Bluefield and set up a time when we would come and record the jingle. On the phone, the owner told me he'd pay us $50.00 each. To a college student, that's a fortune. And for anyone, that's a lot of money for what promised to be about an hour of work.

The four of us arrived at Carpetland on the appointed day with very few expectations, except for that 50 bucks of course. We had yet to hear any music or receive any lyrics to learn. On site, we were given a tune and the words and placed in front of a microphone. Not the most professional set up we'd be in front of, but hey, it was Bluefield.

My memory is a bit foggy when it comes to remembering the actual song we sang. Each of us sang one line, then we all harmonized in the last half of the song, which told potential customers to "come to Carpetland." During the ordeal, something happened that seemed to irritate us and the owner of the store. At one point he and his cronies went off to discuss something, leaving us to entertain ourselves for a bit. Once they came back, we did a final recording and left. We were told he would be in touch with us if we needed to re-record anything and for payment.

A few days passed and we hadn't heard from Carpetland. So I called them. I called the number that Mr. Sheppard gave me and also called the store's listed number. I got no answer. I left messages, but got no return calls. This went on for several weeks. In the end, we just made peace with the fact that we wouldn't get any money for this less-than-professional gig.

Looking back, it may have something to do with the fact that, while the owner and cronies were away and we were entertaining ourselves, one of us made a sarcastic comment about the shabby condition of the store we were in. I don't remember if it was me or Clint that made the remark, really it could've been either of us. All of us laughed. And they must have been in earshot.

I never personally saw the commercial that used our jingle, but I heard from other friends at various times in the following months that the ad did air. A year later, Carpetland filed bankruptcy and closed its doors to the public forever. One word: karma.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


This week's prompt from Sunday Scribblings is incredibly appropriate, especially since I have yet to describe my Christmas Eve for my readership of three to five people.

As Christmas Eve has so often been for me, it was a night filled with family, food, and fun (in the form of a five dollar gift exchange). Well, the fun also came later when I was able to sit around with my cousin and his friend and speak geek for the duration of the night.

The delicious part came pretty close to the beginning of the evening, as all large meals should. It was the Thanksgiving dinner that I never got this year. I'm gonna try to describe everything that was there, but I just know I'll leave something out. It was one of those meals where there was so much to eat, that it couldn't all possibly be eaten. At least, not by our one family... and there were 21 of us...

But let's go with the run-down:
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (those count as one...)
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberries
  • Cranberries (two kinds...)
  • Broccoli Casserole
  • Pineapple Casserole
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Baked Apples
  • Rolls
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Rum Cake
  • Various Cookies
  • Ham & Cheese Dip w/ Crackers
  • Ham & Cheese Crescent Roll-Up Thingies
Like I said, I'm sure I left something out. My plate wasn't large enough for everything on the menu, much as I tried. And by the time I finished round one, there was no way I could go back for seconds. I mean, I guess I could have, but I probably would have died. My blood would have been replaced with gravy. I would have been leaking cranberries through my pores. I'm sure it would have made for a good Christmas portrait.

The rest of the evening was nice. I don't get excited about Christmas like I used to. Someone once told me that it was because I had grown-up, and it just isn't as magical as it was back then. That same person said the magic would return when I had kids of my own. Don't hold your breath on that one. But it was fun to watch the cousins' kids get excited over their gifts, along with my youngest cousin, who is still only 5. One of my older cousins has a boy who is one of those rough and tumble kind of kids. He found his way into one of his sister's empty boxes and was pretty much having the time of his life. Until he couldn't figure out how to get back out of it. That made for a pretty good laugh among the grown-ups.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I'm not gonna spend any time actually writing anything interesting today. It's been one of those long weekends. And it's only Saturday. I'll be spending much of my day on the road again, heading back to the place I currently call home. So my already fried brain will be extra crispy by day's end.

Instead, today, all I'm willing to post is that there will be some changes to this blog after the first of the year. I'll soon be changing the way you look at things here. There's gonna be a different design. Hopefully I'll be able to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing. Also, if I play my cards right, you'll be surfing to a different web address in order to read my innermost thoughts.

2010's gonna be a good one, I can just feel it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Question of the Week: The Blessing

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

There are tons to choose from. Both traditional and non-traditional. I mean, traditionally you have your Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, and It's a Wonderful Life. But some of the less traditional Christmas movies would be Die Hard, Gremlins, or Lethal Weapon. All of those movies take place at Christmas, ergo, they are Christmas movies. It's always hard for me to pick one favorite whenever I'm asked about favorite movies. There are so many good ones out there. But in this case I'd probably have to go with the traditional It's a Wonderful Life. I love that it shows this regular guy who doesn't think he's much of anything special, but really his life effected so many of those around him for the better. But I'm more interested in hearing about your favorite movies...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

No Singing

I took a road trip today. All the way from Wake Forest, North Carolina to Roanoke, Virginia. That's right, I made that fateful three hour drive to the old home town.

Usually when I make a trip like this, I like to listen to music and sing along at the tops of my lungs. Okay, usually when I make trips as simple as driving to the grocery store, I like to listen to music and sing along at the tops of my lungs. I love to sing, and lately, I've found that singing in the car is really the only place I can do such a thing.

But today I only listened. Not once did I open my mouth to utter a note in the entire three hours I was on the road. And I just can't think of a good reason why I didn't. Well, maybe I was just in a funk.

I already said a couple days ago that I was ready for Christmas to be over with. But I'm honestly unsure of where these feelings are coming from. Why do I lack the Christmas spirit?

Tonight I'll be surrounded by family, gorging myself on all the things I didn't get to eat at Thanksgiving. I'm sure there will be a great number of laughs between my cousin and I. I'm sure there will be more than a few sentimental moments that I'll, let's be honest, just pretend to play along with in the sentiment of it all. It's no secret that I haven't a sentimental bone in my body. I'm sure I'll field questions about the girlfriend that I don't have and my time frame for giving up and moving back to Virginia.

When all is said and done, it will be a good time had. Then I'll retire back to Mom's house, where I'll stay up all night watching A Christmas Story about six times in a row. But I still don't feel like singing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Finding More Readers

I had an interesting conversation with my boss today. He told me that I should find a way to get more readers on this blog.

He said that he thinks that I'd have more people reading if I were somebody. He wasn't trying to insult me. At least it didn't sound like he was insulting me. It sounded like he was complimenting me, implying that I write some interesting things. He said that if I were a columnist for a newspaper, people would read my stuff all the time.

So what do you think? Is that true? I'd love to be a columnist. But from what I understand, journalists work for years and would kill to have a regular column.

Charles went on to say that I should find a way to get the word out on the internet somehow. He did mention that if one were to Google "Carp Dime," my blog is the first thing to show up.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm thinking I could do a post one day and just list a bunch of famous names. Really, I could just list some frequently searched words and phrases. Then, when someone Googles those famous people or the frequently searched words and phrases, somewhere on the list would appear my blog.

I'm looking for other suggestions. Please feel free to comment...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are You Ready For Christmas?

I like Christmas. I really do. But I'm ready for it to be over.

I know, it's the week of Christmas. I should be getting more excited as the days pass. But I'm not. I'm getting more annoyed.

I think the biggest part of my problem is that I'm tired of Christmas music. About a month ago, I was all excited that the local station was going to start playing round the clock Christmas music. But that was then. This is now.

A month of listening to nothing but Christmas music at work, every day, for eight hours straight... it gets tedious. There are only so many Christmas songs. And there are only so many covers of those Christmas songs. It's nice when there's a little variety, but really, how many times can you stand to hear Santa Baby in one day? Or Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You? Really gets old.

You know what else gets old? Having someone ask if you're ready for Christmas. I know I work at a bank and I know that there are tons of people who come in and are grasping for conversation starters. And during this, the week before Christmas, "Are you ready for Christmas?" seems to be the number one icebreaker.

I'm ready to start changing up my responses. "What? Christmas? Already!?" "Yes! I've been ready since March!" "Uh... I'm Jewish..."

I wonder how quick I could get them to feel uncomfortable. Yeah... ask your icebreakers now!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Greatest Hits: The Whistler

Originally posted 5/12/2008:

Back when I was in high school, I did some volunteer work for the Raleigh Court Public Library. While I was there working in the afternoons, I came in contact with a man who would come to be known as The Whistler. If you're from Roanoke and have lived in the Raleigh Court/Grandin Road area of the city, you may, in fact, know The Whistler.

Upon first impression, you may just see a somewhat disheveled elderly gentleman. One you may choose to ignore. One you may give sideways glances to, just to make sure he's staying on his side of the room. One you might think was a little odd. And I'll admit, for a long time, whenever I saw him, that was how I felt.

I never had a conversation with the man. I never introduced myself or even let him know I knew he was there. In fact, the most contact I personally had with him was a nod or a hello while I was at the library. Often he'd come in and read the daily newspaper, and then he'd walk back to his home, whistling all the way.

I think if I had taken the time to get to know this man, I would have discovered a kind man who probably just kept to himself for one reason or another. A story I heard from a teacher illustrates a bit of what may have been under the unkempt surface. This teacher had a roommate that was training for a 10k run and did so by running through The Whistler's neighborhood. Day after day the roommate would run by The Whistler's house while the man worked in his yard. One day, when The Whistler saw the roommate coming down the road, he began whistling Chariots of Fire. Maybe that was his way of encouraging the roommate without really saying anything.

So just remember when you pass one of those creepy houses in the neighborhood, think about who lives there. Everyone has their reasons for being the people they are. There may be times when it appears they're not reaching out to us, but maybe they are. Or maybe they're just waiting for one of us to do the reaching.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I vaguely remember hearing whispers about James Cameron's latest epic years ago. Something that was supposed to be a huge phenomenon that would dwarf the Titanic. But I didn't buy into the hype.

Even as this year arrived and carried on and the ComicCon in San Diego got more Avatar buzz buzzing, I didn't buy into the hype.

After 15 years of work, Cameron's new movie finally opened over the weekend. It's received a lot of press and a lot of favorable reviews. Those things, combined with the fact that I've never seen a 3-D movie before, convinced me to go and see what all the hype was about.

Okay, so that's not entirely true. I have seen a 3-D movie. But I'm not sure if I should count seeing Captain EO at DisneyWorld when I was 12.

Whatever the case, I was kind of excited when the girl at the box office gave me my 3-D glasses with my ticket. I entered the theater and found that it wasn't any more magical that any other trip I've made to see any other movie. Of course, I still had the glasses in my hand. Maybe once I donned them, the world around me would change.

After a few previews, the audience was instructed to put on their glasses. Then we got a few more previews. These were for upcoming 3-D films. All of which I think I'll be okay seeing in plain ol' 2-D if I get the choice. With Avatar, there was no choice at my theater. It was the extra money for the 3-D or no movie at all. Yeah, 3-D goes for an extra $2.50. Really great in these troubling economic times.

Anyway, the 3-D effect was pretty neat. And don't worry, I resisted the temptation to reach out and grab at the words that floated just before my eyes.

As for the movie itself, I'll admit it was impressive. The entire thing was visually stunning. The special effects were so realistic, it makes George Lucas' characters in the Star Wars prequels look like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I wonder if Hollywood has any limits anymore.

It's a distant future, where humanity has finally depleted the Earth of its own resources. This forces man to find a new world to exploit. The world they find is one known as Pandora, which is actually a moon orbiting a gas giant in a star system several light years from Earth. We're introduced to Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into the Avatar program after his twin brother's death.

What's the Avatar program? Well, you see, Pandora is inhabited by a number of species, one of which is intelligent: the Na'vi. The Na'vi are a tribal group who stand ten feet tall and have blue skin and cat-like tails. They each have a long braided ponytail which seem to have nerve-like tentacles on the ends. Using these appendages, they're able to connect to the animal and plant life on their world, literally connecting them to their land.

As part of the Avatar program, Jake grows accustomed to having his consciousness placed into the Na'vi/Human hybrid that was grown to house him. He finds himself caught between worlds. He is forced to choose sides in a conflict that would mean the destruction or the survival of Pandora.

The story itself did not seem too terribly original. It seemed to have a lot of influences from Dances With Wolves to The Matrix. That's not to say it wasn't enjoyable. It was actually very good. And, as stated before, it was visually stunning. Definitely worth seeing.

Taking off those 3-D glasses at the end was the true challenge. How was I to go from spending nearly 3 hours looking at a magical world that hovered right before my eyes and go back to the boring way I used to see things. I'm guessing, however, that the 3-D effect takes a while to wear off. I look around me, still, and see depth all over the place. Amazing.


The first memory I have of the word dare comes from that classic Nickelodeon game show Double Dare. If you are a child of the 80s, you know the one I'm talking about. It was a trivia show for kids. Marc Summers would ask one team a question. They could answer it for prize money, or they could dare the other team to answer for twice the cash. If they didn't know, they could double dare the first team for even more money. But if the first team still didn't know, they had to take the physical challenge. And that was the beauty of the show. 'Cause really, it was an excuse to watch kids my own age get really messy and win prizes for doing it. It was always a dream to get on that show. It never happened.

And of course there's the classic holiday film A Christmas Story. You must know where I'm going with this one. The kids are all standing around the flagpole in the dead of winter. The argument ensues, will a tongue stick to the metal flagpole if it's cold enough? The two friends in the heated debate egg each other on until one triple dog dares the other to lick the pole, just to see if it'll stick. And of course it does. Poor Flick.

I've always wondered how the idea of a dare would hold up in court. This was actually a conversation I had with a friend during lunch one day in high school. I don't remember much about high school, but for some reason this pointless conversation sticks out as clear as if it happened yesterday.

Our cafeteria was sort of a split-level deal. Down in a pit like area were most of the tables. This is where the underclassmen would all sit. Along the sides of the huge room were raised walkways, roughly four feet up from the pit. There was also a senior section located on high ground, but that's not important to the story. Like most schools in America, Patrick Henry had a police officer on campus at all times. He didn't always wear the uniform, but he always had his gun.

On this particular day, as Evan and I ate our crappy cafeteria food, we noticed the resource officer standing with his back against the railing, facing away from the general population. Evan's slightly deviant mind called my attention to the police officer. "I bet it wouldn't be too hard to grab his gun with him standing like that."

I gave Evan a strange look. I was pretty sure he wasn't serious, so I went along with it. "I dare you to go and grab it, then see how many rounds you can squeeze off before they wrestle you to the ground," he said. "You can shoot up if you want, that way you don't hurt anyone."

I didn't take that dare. But the conversation continued. I asked him how he thought that excuse would hold up in court. I could picture a judge asking me what was going through my mind when I grabbed Officer What's-His-Name's gun and just started shooting at the defenseless ceiling tiles. "Well, your honor, it's like this... Evan dared me to do it. And, well, I couldn't just back down from a dare."

At that point, the judge would probably have the DA and my attorney approach the bench, and in hushed tones, he'd look at the prosecutor and say, "The kid has a point." The prosecutor would just close his eyes, let his head hang down, and rub his forehead, knowing that he had no case at this point.

The judge would let the gavel fall with a heavy crash and shout that the case was dismissed.

Well, that's how Evan justified it. Lunch ended not long after. No one grabbed the gun that day, or any other day in my four years at Patrick Henry. Four years of peace. You can't trade that in for anything.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea to wait until six days before Christmas to begin one's Christmas shopping. But that's exactly what I did. Thankfully, I was able to begin and end it all in one place.

This isn't a commercial for Target. It's actually a friendly warning to folks to stay away from the super-retail stores of the world this close to Christmas. The place was packed today. It was amazingly uncomfortable knowing how many people were there.

I found myself weaving in and out of families and shopping carts. I nearly collided with more than one small child who had been left to his or her own devices and allowed to wander freely through the aisles.

As I watched all the people throughout the store, I got it in my head what an agoraphobe may feel. At least a tiny bit anyway. So many people in one place can be unsettling.

I'm not agoraphobic. And I don't know what someone with that fear may truly feel. But I can promise you that I'll be staying away from Target for at least the next week. Really glad I got all that shopping done.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Question of the Week: Famous

Would you like to be famous? In what way?

Heck yeah, I want to be famous. I want people all over the country to go into work each day and stand by the water cooler and say, "Man, did you read what Aaron put on his blog yesterday? Classic!" Do they give out a Pulitzer for blog writing? 'Cause they should.

Okay, really I don't care about being famous. I mean, it'd be nice to have a few more readers on a regular basis, but it is what it is. I don't sit around and write stuff because I necessarily want to be recognized. I do it because it's something I enjoy doing. If I could turn it into some kind of career, that would be more than enough for me. I guess that's the dream: getting paid to do what you love.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The power went off last night. It woke me up when things turned back on a few minutes later. Various electrical items in the house made that electrical click or hum when power is restored.

What really got to me, though, was the fire alarm in the corridor. It's got this continuous high-pitched ringing sound that pierced through all the walls. I jumped up and made my way to the door. When I stepped into the hallway, I was greeted by my sleepy neighbors across the hall. We exchanged cautious and weary glances. The woman standing there summed it up for me when she quietly said, "You've got to be freakin' kidding me..."

With that I turned around and went back inside my apartment. I decided to lie back down and attempt to sleep through the awful noise. Then I saw the flashing red lights coming from outside. That's right, the fire department had arrived.

At that point I decided to get dressed. Just in case I needed to evacuate the premises. I stepped back out in the hallway and saw two fire fighters walking up and down the passage. I caught the attention of one of them and asked if I needed to leave. He explained that everything was fine, they were just trying to figure out how to turn off that alarm.

From roughly 2:30am to 3:00, that alarm kept on going. I imagine that must be the equivalent of what dogs hear when someone blows a dog whistle. Except that it was on a frequency that my ears could comprehend. Real annoying though. It'll be nice if I can get a full night of sleep tonight... no back pain... no freakin' alarms...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It seems that a lot happens to me while I'm driving. I come up with a lot of good blog posts based on the things I witness while I'm in my car. This morning as I was driving to work, I was in an accident.

First let me assure you all that I'm okay. I was not injured and my car is still drivable. But you know there's more of a story than that.

We were in heavy traffic, as is the norm for the early morning commute. So it was stop and go the whole way. It's just that when the cars in front of me and I stopped, the woman behind me didn't quite get that signal.

I have a tendency to look in my mirror whenever I feel like I hit the brakes quickly, just to make sure the person behind me knows to stop too. Most of the time, I see the driver behind me stop just short of hitting me. I'm used to that in the traffic I normally deal with. But this morning, I knew she wasn't stopping. I had time to let that thought float through my head as I watched her smash into my rear bumper.

We pulled off to the median. We were both more concerned for the safety of the other than with the damage done to either car. As we were both walking around and coherent of our surroundings, we proceeded from there. I made the call to the police, that way a report could be filed, just in case insurance wanted to have that record. She gave me all her information and asked me to call her once I got an estimate. She may just want to pay out of pocket, so I'll leave that to her if that's what floats her boat.

As for the damage to my car, the bumper is cracked and is buckled up in one spot. The only thing that concerns me is that I can't get my trunk open. The part that buckled up on the bumper seems to have it pinned shut. I don't so much care about having the bumper replaced. I don't care about the crack in it. If the damage is merely cosmetic, then it doesn't matter to me. I'd just like to get back into the trunk at some point.

So I've got the day off tomorrow. I'll take the car to a body shop and have them take a look at it. I'll find out how much they'll charge, and I'll also ask about just getting the bumper hammered back down so I can open the trunk. Either way, I figure I'll call the girl sometime and let her know whatever I'm told.

I've never dealt with all this insurance stuff. This is all very new to me.

I should have asked her to slam into my car a few more times. Maybe it could've gotten totaled. Then I could get a new car. One that doesn't have a new problem every three months.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Greatest Hits: Circumstances

Originally posted 4/3/2008:

This one might be long. It might be short. You can never really tell with these things. But the fact that it's late might cause me to rush things a bit.

Every week I participate in a home group Bible study at the Greenehouse. We're working our way through Experiencing God, a study which I think I may have worked through about 10 years ago, but it's good to be reminded of these things again.

Tonight we talked about how God can speak to us through circumstances in our lives, and I got to thinking about what has led me to this place. What has led me to Wake Forest? What has led me to seminary?

A little back story: back in college, I thought I was called to ministry. Then I had doubts about that. A Christian artist that came to Bluefield to play at a coffeehouse said something that made me rethink what God might have in store for me. So I pursued a different path.

In 2004 I finally left the town of Bluefield and returned to Roanoke to live with Dad. It was a very symbiotic relationship. I helped him with some of the finances, he helped me to save money. Okay, mostly he helped me out. I mean, the man was a heck of a cook. For two years I lived there, and in that time, Dad became my best friend.

Then, sadly, he passed away. Enter the circumstances. These are the circumstances that God used to put me back on that path I left behind me in Bluefield. And here I am in seminary, living in Wake Forest, knowing that this is where God wants me at this moment.

God never left anything to chance. He knew that I would doubt His call on my life all those years ago. He knew that I would have the chance to spend two great years getting to know my father better than I had in my first 18 years living under his roof. He knew exactly how Dad's death would affect me and placed people in my life to help me through that circumstance.

I could easily look back at Bluefield and think of myself as one who turned his back on God's calling. But God blessed me through it all. God remained faithful. Those last days with Dad were a true blessing. Of course I miss him. And I will miss him every day until I see him again, which I know I will. And that is comforting to me. So I thank God for speaking to me through every circumstance that I've come across in my life. And I thank Him for what He's going to do through my future circumstances.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Jim wasn't the kind of guy who considered himself brave. He lived his ordinary life working his ordinary job and spending time with his ordinary friends. He went to church, he paid his taxes, and he enjoyed a good steak from time to time. He was the kind of guy who would openly admit that he took a great deal of his freedoms and comforts for granted.

He was 21 the day the Towers fell; the day his world came to a standstill.

Jim normally didn't turn on the radio while he went through his usual morning routine. But something compelled him to do just that on that particular morning. As he stood in his bathroom brushing his teeth, he heard the DJ announce that a plane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He couldn't believe what he had heard. How could that kind of accident happen? Why would a plan be flying that low so close to Manhattan?

He switched off the radio and ran to the living room. Upon turning on the TV he immediately saw the column of black smoke rising from the first tower to be hit. He watched in horror as a second plane hit the South Tower. Jim's hands covered his mouth as the shock washed over him.

Jim was nowhere near New York City that day. He was nowhere near the Pentagon. He was nowhere near that field in Pennsylvania when that fourth plane hit the ground. But he heard the stories of bravery from those places.

He heard about the rescue workers who were on the scene as the towers fell. He heard about the men and women on Flight 93 who refused to let the hijackers of their plane use them as another weapon to take out an American symbol. He heard about the volunteers who gave up their time, energy, and money to help out any and all of those in need.

Jim went about his day as he normally would. He went to work and did his job. He gathered with his friends that evening. And like most everyone else, he was numb. There was a part of him that wanted to stop doing everything. That part of him wanted to sit on his sofa at home and just watch the news. But there was another part of him that knew that would accomplish nothing.

During the following days, when more stories of bravery came across the wire, Jim knew that continuing his life status quo just wasn't good enough anymore.

No, Jim wasn't the kind of guy who considered himself brave. But he wanted to be counted among those whom he did consider brave. Three days after 9/11, Jim went to the Army Recruitment Office and signed up.

Jim still doesn't consider himself brave. But the men in his unit do.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Perils of Pizza Delivery, Part 3

Last night I reported the following events through my Facebook status. If you're my friend on Facebook, then there's a good chance you saw the ensuing exchange of comments that was sparked by my initial posting. For the rest of you, the story is as follows...

I was driving along, minding my own business, la-de-da... As is typical for an early December evening, it got dark pretty quick. It was dark long before I began my shift last night. With the lunar cycle being in the position it currently holds, there was no moon to light up the night sky. This left me to drive around in the dark, seeking desperately for street names and house numbers.

As I made my way through a darkened neighborhood, searching for a particular house on a particular street, I narrowly avoided a disaster. Walking in my direction on the right side of the street was an elderly couple with their dog.

There was no sidewalk, so they were walking right in the road. They were wearing black overcoats, making them difficult to see in the lack of light. Their dog had no leash, making his movements unpredictable at best. Also, as an added bonus to the difficulty of the situation, a rather large SUV was driving toward me on the narrow residential street, unwavering in its path and unchanging in its speed.

Driving between 20 and 25 miles per hour, as I often do when searching house numbers, I swerved out and back in to avoid all of these obstacles.

As I did with my Facebook status last night, I would like to send out my tips for people who enjoy walking their dogs at night and want to live to tell the tale. First, wear reflective clothing. At the very least, wear something light, so it can be seen on the streets that don't have street lights to illuminate your path. Second, get a leash for your dumb dog! It's obvious that dogs are easily distracted. It's often joked about how dogs like to chase cars. Really, they'll chase and play with just about anything that's moving. Sadly, chasing cars can often lead to badness that I don't even like to think about.

And to those who questioned my driving skills in those Facebook comments, shame on you. I'm an excellent driver. Dad used to let me drive slow on the driveway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Question of the Week: Finger

Would you have one of your fingers surgically removed if it somehow guaranteed immunity from all major diseases?

Do I get to choose which finger? Looking at my hand, I can't think of which one I'd rather get rid of, but I think I'd like to have that choice if that time came. So yeah, if I get that choice, I'd do it. Does the common cold fall under the major diseases category? How about the flu? I think it'd be nice to not get those anymore. Ever.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So I really didn't sleep last night. And it wasn't for a lack of trying.

My left leg was hurting some kind of awful. There was absolutely nothing I could do to get comfortable. I tossed and turned for hours before sleep finally overtook me and I was too tired to deal with the pain in my leg.

The whole time I wondered what could be causing the pain. When I'd get up to walk around, I could still feel it, but it didn't get any worse. So it's not as if I was immobilized by it. When I would lie back down, it actually did get worse.

For years I've seen commercials for what's been deemed "Restless Leg Syndrome." All this time I've just thought of that as some condition that the pharmaceutical companies made up just so they could sell more drugs. But what if it's a real thing?

Woke up this morning after grabbing a few decent hours of sleep, felt right as rain. Sure hope that doesn't happen again. It was really uncomfortable.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dear John

A few weeks ago I caught a trailer for the upcoming film, Dear John. It's based on a Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. I knew nothing about the story before seeing the preview, but just watching two minutes of scenes from the movie made me want to tear up.

So I borrowed the book from Nicole. Today I finished that book. This makes three of Sparks' novels that I've read in the last few months. This one did not make me cry.

The book is about John, a man serving in the army, who meets the love of his life while on leave. In a matter of days he falls in love with Savannah and pledges to marry her when his tour of duty is finished. But then 9/11 hits, changing his plans for getting out of the military when his time was up. This puts an obvious strain on his long-distance relationship with the girl of his dreams.

I'm starting to really like Sparks' stuff. He has a way of painting vivid pictures through the eyes of his narrators. Looking through John's eyes, it was easy to fall in love with Savannah after only a few chapters. It was easy to feel the character's pain and loss when tragedy struck. It was easy to feel his sense of pride when he looked back on the choices that he had made.

Over all, it was a good read. I look forward to the movie when it hits theaters.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


It’s human nature to pass blame on to someone else. The Bible shows us that, even from the beginning, man was busy trying to shift blame for his own sin. When God asked Adam if he’d eaten from the only tree He commanded him not to eat from, Adam blamed Eve, and in turn blamed God saying, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” And Eve is just as bad. “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

And there we have the first example of people blaming Satan for their own mistakes. And this is a phenomenon that I find myself coming across a lot in my life. Back during college and even in recent months, I have heard people who are caught up in sin blaming Satan for their actions.

“Satan was just using that as a way to make me stumble.”

I’ll admit, about 90% (give or take) of my exposure to Christianity has been Baptist. So maybe this is just a popular ideology among Baptists. Those of you reading this that were exposed to other denominations; let me know if this phenomenon has spread throughout all of Christianity. I’m interested to read comments about this.

I’ll be honest. I’m sick of hearing the “devil made me do it” excuse. It’s such a cop out. It’s pathetic really. It’s what people say when they don’t want to take responsibility for their own stupid choices.

As a follower of Christ, I firmly believe that Satan was defeated when Jesus gave up his life as a sacrifice. Sure, I believe Satan is still in the world having his way with his people. But if you find yourself under the grace and protection of God, then Satan has no power over you. None. Zero. Satan is impotent when it comes to Christians.

Does that mean that I’m now sinless? Not at all. I’m still human. Part of the human condition is our frailty and our imperfection. Yes, I strive for perfection. I strive to live up to the example that Jesus set all those years ago in living His own perfect life. But I falter all the time. But I don’t blame Satan for my missteps.

If I’m sitting in front of my computer and I find myself looking at a pornographic website, is it because Satan snuck in and typed the address in the web browser? If I’m out with friends at a restaurant that serves alcohol and walk away stumbling drunk, is it because Satan came in and bought me that first drink? If I get cut off in traffic and start shouting obscenities at the driver in front of me, is it because Satan was whispering those words in my ear?

The answer is no. My human condition is weak. I’m the one who chose to surf the web to inappropriate websites. I’m the one who laid down the cash for that first beer. I’m the one who opened my mouth and let trash come out of it.

I can’t claim to know all the ins and outs of what’s deemed to be spiritual warfare. I’ve already said that I believe Satan is still out there in the world. But he isn’t ever-present and isn’t all-knowing. Temptations are bound to come our way, but it’s up to us whether we fall for those temptations or stand strong against them. Stop blaming some supernatural entity for your screw-ups.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Greatest Hits: Omelet Shoppe Confessions - Freebie

Originally published 3/15/2008:

One fateful post-Spring Formal evening, a large group of us decided to make a run to the Omelet Shoppe, as we often did after gala events. There were enough of us to have to sit at several tables, as there often were during any trip to the OS. At the time we arrived, the place was jumping. The all-night breakfast club was packed, so there was quite a bit of competition for tables.

After a long wait and several walking trips around the dining area, I sat at a table with two of my roommates, Mark and Dereck, and our friend Kristy. Gertie took our orders and (eventually) brought us our extremely greasy food. Being the good Bluefield College (a Baptist institution) students that we were, we said a prayer for the food. But our prayer was interrupted.

Let me take a minute to explain something that I had seen before we sat down. At one booth were a few ladies (of the night), one of whom was slumped over, seemingly half asleep (or possibly dead). When we sat, I was facing them, Dereck had his back to them. Does that paint the picture a little?

Back to the interrupted prayer... Dereck's got his head bowed, his eyes closed. Suddenly we hear, "Sir! Sir!" Dereck's prayer changed from a blessing for his food to a plea. A plea that this lady wasn't addressing him. He opened his eyes, and I said, "Dude, I think she's trying to get your attention." He just stared at me.

Finally he turned around. "Sir, could you pick that up for me please?"

Dereck's a polite guy. So he got up, bent down, and handed the woman the object that she had dropped on the floor. He came back to the table, looked at us, and said, "Yep, pretty sure that was a condom."

At this piont, our laughter could not be contained. Well, Dereck's could. He didn't think it was even a little funny. But to this day, I have to laugh. If I'm right (and when am I not?), this woman was a hooker (prostitute) who had her eye on Dereck and wanted to give him a freebie. That's what I think anyway.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Growing up, I went to church with a woman who was called Weird. I'm pretty sure for a long time, I thought that was her actual name. Really, her name was Jean. But to me, she was just Weird.

My Dad had become close to the Aekin family a long time before I was born. Apparently they all had nicknames for each other, and they even gave Dad one, but Weird's was the only one that stuck.

Dad liked to tell the story of how he was introduced to Weird. He was already friends with her sister, Patsy. So one day at church, he asked Patsy why they call her Weird. "Just watch her for a while."

So Dad began to watch Weird from across the room. She was involved in a conversation with someone else and must have noticed that she was being watched by my Dad and her sister. Without missing a beat, she began making faces at them.

Patsy just looked at Dad and said, "See what I mean?"

Weird would later teach my Sunday school class when I was in high school. It generally made for a fun Sunday morning lesson. It was the kind of class where you couldn't necessarily get into trouble for getting the church giggles. You know what I'm talking about? Where you start laughing over something ridiculous and you just can't stop. And the thought of how inappropriate your laughter is just makes your laughter worse. I take that back. I think I did get in trouble for that once.

New Moon

I'm late. It's after midnight. In my defense, I haven't been home for much of the day. And this may be the first time all year that I've been late with a blog post. Made it all the way to December. How do you like that?

I just got home from seeing New Moon. Statistically, I'm probably one of the last people in the country to see it for the first time. I hear it's been kicking some serious tail in the box office. Something about a record-breaking opening weekend or something crazy like that.

I'm not going to write an extensive review. Mostly because it's late. And at the start of the movie I had a headache. The only accessible medication was an Advil Cold & Sinus, which has a slightly drowsy affect on me. And while I'm typing what, to me, is completely coherent and understandable, I may come back and read it tomorrow and realize that I was in some kind of trance and none of this babbling makes any sense. If that is truly the case, I apologize.

So I'll say a few things about New Moon, but I don't think I'll be saying anything that hasn't been said before. This one was better than the first Twilight movie. An astonishing feat since I had no love for the book on which this sequel was based. I found the novel version of New Moon to be pretty dull. But the film was far superior.

Compared to the first movie, the acting was a lot better too. These kids seem to have adjusted to the characters they're playing and are a lot more comfortable with what they're doing. I still don't like Bella. I don't think that's a reflection of Kristen Stewart. I just don't like her character. I didn't like her character in the books either. So whiny and self-involved.

I do like Alice. I like Alice a lot. In a more than friends kind of way. And I don't care who knows it. You know, if thousands of squealing teenage girls can go gaga over Edward or Jacob, why can't I have a thing for a fictional vampire chick that sees the future? Plus, Ashley Greene is wicked hot. There, I said it. And to clarify, that's the girl that plays Alice. No relation to the Greenes that I'm friends with. But wouldn't that be nice? I'd love to have that connection.

Okay, I'm definitely rambling now. Time for sleep.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Question of the Week: Perform

If you were helping to raise money for a charity and someone agreed to make a large contribution if you would perform at the upcoming fund-raising show, would you? If so, what would you like to perform? Assume the show would have an audience of about 1,000.

Yeah, I'd perform something. I'd probably offer to sing a song of some sort since that's what I'd be most comfortable with. Not sure of the song I'd do. Any requests?

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Brought to You by the Letter K

Part of the fun of writing this blog is in not only making fun of others in my life, but poking fun at myself as well. This is definitely one of those posts that will make me look like a total and complete moron.

For years I've been watching and mocking the commercials for Kay Jewelers. I even tore apart one of their commercials in one of my own blog posts. I'm sure you've seen their ads with their slogan, "Every kiss begins with Kay."

Tonight as I was watching TV, it hit me... The word kiss begins with the letter K. Therefore, every kiss does begin with K. And let the mockery begin...

I know, I know... I pride myself on being quick witted and pretty good at picking up on the little things. Especially the little obvious things. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm closing in on 30 and I just figured out what Kay Jewelers is talking about.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Fun With Film

When I watch a movie for the very first time, I like to pay attention. I like to take in the images on the screen. I like to let my brain go to town analyzing the characters and the plot and the dialogue. It's not as if I pull every film I see apart and attempt to determine what the creators were trying to say with their use of symbolism. I know that sort of thing is out there, but I generally just watch a movie intending to be entertained.

That doesn't mean I don't pay attention when I've seen a movie dozens of times though. But with those kinds of movies, the ones I can watch over and over again, something becomes more fun about them. I won't talk during one of those first-timers, but when I'm watching something like Back to the Future, talking becomes a part of the viewing experience.

When I've seen a movie more than a few times, it becomes incredibly easy to tear it apart. When watching a plot unfold for the hundredth time, it's easy to find the holes and exploit them through biting sarcasm. There's something fun about mocking beloved movies.

But don't worry. I would never do that to Back to the Future, the most awesome movie ever made. Ever.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


I spend a lot of time complaining about certain aspects of my life. Complaining is something that's easy to do. It's easy to look around and find that I would like certain things in my life to be different than they are. I make it so much easier to complain about the things with which I'm unhappy than to praise God for all the blessings that are all over.

I realized today that so many of my problems and my complaints are trivial. I have so many friends who deal with real drama and real issues. Who am I to complain about the small things in my life?

Finding out that your loved ones are hurting can be heartbreaking, especially when you feel helpless in their situation. It's easy to offer prayerful support. But while I firmly believe in prayer as a powerful tool, I can't help but continue to feel helpless. I guess that's just human nature, to want to be able to take control of a situation rather than give it up to God.

Have you had a bad day? Take a moment to really take inventory of the blessings in your life. Then take a moment to pray for the people you love. Pray more for the people you don't. Pray for the people whose hurts may not even be showing on the surface. Meanwhile, I'm gonna pray that God will help me to get out of my own way so that I can recognize the pain in others, and offer to serve in any way for which He equips me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Greatest Hits: Legends of the Bank Teller - Episode VIII

Originally published 3/10/2008:

Working at the bank, I've seen all kinds of people come and go. I'd like to take some time to talk about two types of customer that are pretty typical.

The first is the kind that I see most often: the ones who think I'm telepathic. These are the people who come to the drive up window and send a bunch of random checks and/or blank slips in the box. Also, there are those who send in an empty box with no indication that they needed anything at all. There is a call button on the outside for a reason. Ladies and gentlemen in the banking world, feel free to use that button. We, on the other side of the glass, are here to help you. Just don't abuse the button. And remember, we can't hear what you're saying if you've pushed the box or tube into the chute. It's really loud and overpowers your voice in the speakers. Seriously, it's like standing in a wind tunnel.

On the other end of the customer spectrum are the clients who send detailed, written instructions along with the proper documents. Honestly, I prefer these over the ones who assume I have ESP. But really, your instructions may not be necessary. While I don't have all the answers as a part-time teller, I'm not a complete idiot. If you've sent in your deposit or withdraw slip already filled out, you're way ahead of the game.

There are, of course, other types of customers. As many as there are personality types. Everyone is different. There are the ones who stay on the phone the entire time they're at the window. There are the ones who constantly send back the box because it's impossible to believe that we got it right the first time. There are the ones who refuse to show you their ID because they've been banking here for 30 years (but you know what? I've only been working here for 2 months... wrap your ancient brain around that!). I'm sorry, that probably sounded rude. But it's been a really long day at the bank.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I don't got game. It's not something that I've ever had. And when I say game, I'm talking about the don't-hate-the-player-hate-the-game kind of game.

Back in college I would watch as roommates would flirt with girls almost effortlessly. They would use tactics that blew my mind. Tactics that, following logical conclusions, should never have worked, yet they did. And there were some times that I would try to mimic some of those tactics, and while they may have worked for my friends, I just ended up looking like a fool.

So after playing a few innings on the bench, I eventually just took myself out of the game. I think my problem is that I never fully understood the rules of the game. From what I could tell, men and women are playing two completely different games, but every now and then there's some inter-league play and things seem to work out. But it doesn't help when one can't figure out the rules to either side of things.

One of those things that hinders me is the art of flirtation. I just don't think I'm very good at it. Most of the time, when I'm around a girl I like, I forget how to use the English language properly. It becomes difficult to string together words into coherent phrases and sentences. And forget about complex thought. A few weird sounds that, in my mind, pass for words may escape my mouth, but then I have to go away.

But honestly, I'm okay not knowing how to play the game. Because, what's the general feeling for those who play the game and play it well? Yeah, that's what I thought. So I don't know how to flirt. Big deal. So while the rest of you single people are out there playing the field, I'll be over here warming the bench. Someone's gotta do it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I like to cook. But I just don't do it that often.

See, living alone, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to do much cooking. Generally, recipes come designed for more than one person. So a lot of the time, that means that more than half of whatever I make ends up going to waste or sits in the refrigerator until it becomes self-aware and stages a coup in the kitchen.

You may be asking what I actually eat. It's not always fast food and take out, don't worry. But my real choices probably aren't much better: sandwiches, cereal, and frozen dinners. It's handy when meals come in individual packaging. Eliminates the need for the leftovers.

But then Thanksgiving came this year. I didn't cook a turkey or any of the traditional side dishes. But I did cook a pumpkin pie. I didn't make the pie, just cooked it from its frozen state. Thank you Sara Lee. Thus far, I've only eaten two slices, and in the next day or so, I'll probably forget that it's in my fridge.

Also on Thursday, I made sausage balls using my Dad's recipe. Now, this isn't a meal, but I still had to cut the recipe in half. And that's still plenty of appetizer for multiple people. Thankfully, the raw product is good for freezing and cooking at a later time, so I only had to cook a few in order to make sure the final result was good.

However, I was told later that this was the worst batch I had ever made and that I should just leave them all at the Greenehouse to be disposed of properly. I'll take that as a complement.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Question of the Week: Help

Is it easy for you to accept help when you need it? Will you ask for help?

Sometimes it's easy to accept help when it's needed. I guess it all depends on the situation. Asking for help isn't something I do often. And even though I don't care to admit it, I guess that's a part of a pride issue. It's not that I think I can do everything on my own, I've just turned into a pretty independent person in my old age. But when it comes down to it, I don't have a problem asking for help when I really need it.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Life Story: Chapter Thirty Seven

Right around Thanksgiving 15 years ago, things got a little out of hand for old Aaron Peck.

See, at the time, I was still, technically anorexic. Things had leveled off for me though. Sure, this particular psychological illness was still an issue for me, but I wasn't losing weight anymore. I was maintaining a solid 95 pounds, which, for awhile was good.

Apparently the pressures of entering high school began affecting me in much the same way being in middle school did. Slowly but surely, those maintained pounds began to slide off. My weekly weigh-in sessions at the therapist's office were becoming more and more depressing.

As I took this turn for the worse, my options were discussed. I knew that a time was coming when I would be forced to do something I wouldn't want to do. In a word: hospitalization.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I was showering before church. As I washed my hair, it was coming off my head between my fingers. This is a common problem among people with eating disorders. As the body lacks the nutrients it needs to remain healthy, it starts shutting down unnecessary functions, one of those being hair growth.

I broke down. I decided then that I would make the call. I would fall on the sword and voluntarily go into a hospital for treatment. I knew that if I didn't, the doctors would talk my parents into admitting me anyway.

I talked it over with my family and later my counselor, and we determined that after Thanksgiving I would go into a psychiatric hospital to receive treatment for my eating disorder. Next stop: St. Alban's Hospital in Radford.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


'Tis the night before Thanksgiving and I just got home from work. I had to stay late, 'cause the manager on duty was kind of a jerk. That's all the rhyming I'll do. I really wanted to try and do some more, but I'm just not feeling it. But I did come across this video today. It's the Muppets doing their version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. And it's awesome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Legends of the Bank Teller - Episode LXVI

The holidays are forthcoming and people are getting crazy.

I only worked half a day today, and in the first hour that I was there, I counted no less than five people who went off about something small. Now, only three of these people actually went nuts in person. Two of them were on the phone.

We all know I'm one of those people with a short fuse. I don't explode my anger in the direction of anyone in particular, but my patience tends to run thin. So as Christmas gets closer, I think people will be more on edge.

I've found something that's fun though. Instead of following my first instinct of becoming just as frustrated as they are, it's good to kill them with kindness. They really hate that. And then I'm in a better mood, plus I got a good laugh out of it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Greatest Hits: Singing to Sleep

Originally published 2/17/2008:

Last night, I was over at the Greene's. Big surprise, right? After a long evening of playing SingStar, I had the privilege of holding and feeding the Baby Greene. When she finished her bottle, she was a little fussy, so in went the pacifier. Then Nicole told me to sing to her.

So I started singing. Three songs into the set, she was out. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever sung someone to sleep. Well, successfully anyway.

For a few minutes, I couldn't help but think about songs that Dad used to sing to me. Not necessarily when I was falling asleep, but times when I was afraid or sad. Specifically, I remember he would sing Day Is Done by Peter Paul and Mary. I don't know how often he actually played that through his repetoire, but it's always stuck with me. I only remember the first verse...

Tell me why you're crying my son
I know you're frightened like everyone
Is it the thunder in the distance you hear?
Would it help if I stay very near?
I am here.
And if you take my hand, my son,
All will be well when the day is done.

Even now, thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. It did last night when I heard him singing it in my mind. Luckily no one was paying attention as I rocked the sleeping baby while my eyes welled up.

I've said it before, more often than not, when I think of Dad these days I smile or laugh. But there are still times, when missing him becomes overwhelming and I can't help but cry. I can't wait 'til the day I get to hear him singing again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I like to look up at night. Mostly on those cloudless nights when you can see the universe beyond our own atmosphere. When there's the cover of clouds, it's not quite as much fun to stare upward.

There are a lot of times when I'll stand there pondering the vastness of the universe, and I think about the possibility of countless planets orbiting countless stars populating countless galaxies.

I don't believe that life has originated anywhere else. And I suppose that comes from a firm faith in what the Bible says about creation and God's hand in it. So a lot of people out there who look to the stars may wonder what's the point of it all? Why would God create such an enormous space, but only place life on one pebble?

Some people would consider that a waste of space. Science shows us that there is more out there, that there's more to see than what can be found on the third planet in our solar system. There are other stars and other planets that can be seen through the lens of modern technology. And for every heavenly body that can be seen, there are millions more that can't.

This is where I get to thinking. God doesn't have to explain to mankind why He does the things He does. He's God. He doesn't need us. He wants us though. He created us so that we could glorify Him. Of course we fall short in that area, but that was our purpose in creation. That's the purpose of all creation: to glorify God.

So you have all of outer space, and all of these planets with geographic formations that we could never even imagine. Maybe God put it all out there so He'd have something nice to look at.

There is so much beauty, just in this world, that we don't always see. But God sees it. How small of us to think that there wouldn't be beauty elsewhere that we can't see. But God sees it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Something odd happened to me today. I took a nap.

But that's really not the strangest part. I mean, there are days when I'll lie down, shut my eyes, and fall asleep for about half an hour. It doesn't happen often, but it's usually a very enjoyable experience.

Today I had no intention of taking a nap. I ran some errands this morning, had lunch with a friend, then came back home to spend my time doing pretty much nothing. Somehow I ended up falling asleep.

When I woke up it was dark. That's what hit me as strange. When I had closed my eyes it was a sunny afternoon. Light was pouring in through my enormous windows. Suddenly my apartment was completely dark. It wasn't even 6:00 yet.

As much as I like the winter, and as much as I always look forward to Christmas, I never look forward to these early sunsets. These short days and long nights are just crazy. On the plus side, by the time Christmas gets here, the days will be getting longer again.

I had a biology teacher in high school that used to talk about how much he hated summer. His reasoning? Because the days were getting shorter and it depressed him. Kind of a pessimistic way of looking at things. But I guess the flip side of that coin is that he was optimistic once winter hit. All those days are getting longer by the day. But what does he have to look forward to if he doesn't like summer? Really it just becomes an endless cycle of pessimism. How sad for him.

Anyway, I woke up in the dark. With a headache. I mean, what's that all about? Why is it that sometimes we, as people, take naps and feel worse when we wake up than we did when we laid down?

In other news, I finally watched G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra this morning. I really don't want to write a review for it. I'll just say I wasn't as disappointed as I expected to be. It's the kind of movie that you can't go into thinking it's going to change your life. It's just mindless entertainment that just won't win any awards. I'm sorry, Dennis Quaid, it's true.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Question of the Week: Deal

If you were to discover that your closest friend was a heroin dealer, what would you do?

First I would demand a piece of that action. Dealer's gotta be pullin' in some pretty big cash. Okay, really I wouldn't do that. First I'd tell this friend that he or she is being incredibly stupid, then I'd give them 48 hours to turn themselves in. I'm not sure that I could do the turning in though. I mean, the person is my friend and I wouldn't want to see them thrown in jail. But really, they're committing a pretty serious crime and contributing to the downfall of their foolish customers. I don't think I'd turn them in, but if they refused to do the right thing themselves, I'd cut ties with them. That friend would be phased out.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Wind in My Face

Last month when I was in Bluefield for Homecoming, the ventilation system in my car stopped working. For a while, I had been experiencing condensation building up and leaking onto the floor of the car. Eventually, that condensation caused the motor in the vent to short out.

Since then, I've been driving around with no way to turn on the air conditioning when it was unseasonably warm. No way to turn on the heat when the temperature finally dropped. No way to defrost the windows when they got fogged up. That last one was pretty rough when delivering pizzas. Those things tend to steam up the car a bit.

Monday I was finally able to get the problem fixed. I got the motor replaced and now it blows like the wind. I have so many options now! Defrost, heat, A/C! I can even mix and match!

However, a problem remains. All that condensation still drains into the passenger side floor. That can't be good. So, does anyone out there know how I can make the car drain properly? I'm guessing that, eventually, it'll cause my new motor to short out. In the meantime, it just pours out and kinda makes me have to pee.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like

Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat.

I had the day off today. It's something that I thought should have been happening every week since they cut my hours back to 35. For some reason, I've continually been scheduled to work every day, but two of those days each week come as half days. Why not just combine the halves and make a whole day off? Logical, right?

So that's what my manager finally did this week. And how did I spend my day off? I helped decorate the Greenehouse for Christmas. That's right, the tree is lit, the greens have been wrapped around the door post, and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

But I can't help but feel like it's kind of early. Traditionally, I've held to a Thanksgiving weekend decorating schedule. But hey, it's not my house, so it's not my rules. I just pitch in where I can. Especially since, in my own home, I won't be decorating this year.

You know, I had the opportunity to buy one of those fancy pre-lit trees last year right after Christmas. It was 50% off, so that's not a bad deal. But I passed it up. And now, another year goes by and I'm not getting a tree. I don't have any lights to hang in my apartment, nor do I have a wreath to hang on the door. But I'm really okay with that.

As much time as I spend with the Greenes, I get plenty of chances to bask in the glow of tiny white lights reflected off glass ornaments. Now I just need some snow and I'll be happy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Continuous Christmas

The radio station we listen to at work has begun their non-stop Christmas music through Christmas day. Don't get me wrong, I do like to hear the Christmas music. But all day, every day for the next 39 days? I may be shoving Q-Tips up against my eardrums by the second week of December.

In the meantime, I still love the Christmas music and am actually starting to get excited about the upcoming holiday season. So I bring you a YouTube video from an a capella group called Straight No Chaser performing their version of 12 Days of Christmas. It's pretty awesome.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Greatest Hits: A Jewelry Commercial

Originally published 2/9/2008:

Have you seen a recent Kay Jewelers commercial? The one they're showing to prepare all the guys out there for Valentine's Day? It's the one with the little kid who sees his dad give his mom a diamond necklace from Kay. So he then writes "Kay" on a little box and takes a gift to a little girl.

The girl opens the "Kay" box and pulls out a heart made of pink construction paper attached to a piece of green yarn. She says thank you and kisses the little boy on the cheek. But here's what I feel that she's really thinking:

Aww, how sweet. This looks really expensive. What'd this set you back? Fifteen cents? What, did you raid the crafts closet in the kindergarten room at school? I'm just gonna hug you so you'll feel good about yourself. My real boyfriend went to Jared. Chump.

Update: I found the commercial on YouTube for your enjoyment.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I feel the need to give some very careful instructions regarding a classic device known as the Magic 8-Ball. The Magic 8-Ball can be found in a variety of places, usually in the place where toys are sold. Recently there have been a rash of copycat and novelty 8-Balls, but none can overtake the original.

But the original is not without its flaws. If you purchase or receive the Magic 8-Ball as a gift, it's important to calibrate the device before you begin asking it about financial endeavors or for relationship advice. You may be asking, "How do I calibrate the Magic 8-Ball?" The answer is simple, you ask it a question to which you already know the answer.

For example: You know whether or not you are left-handed. So ask the 8-Ball, "Am I left-handed?" If you are, in fact, left-handed and the 8-Ball indicates as much, then you have a working Magic 8-Ball. If you are right-handed, but the 8-Ball still gives you a positive answer, then you need to ask again. Keep asking until you get a correct answer, at which point you'll know that the 8-Ball is in good working order.

The most important thing to remember is that the 8-Ball can only answer yes/no questions. If you ask for a favorite color, you will damage the device beyond repair. Once this happens, no amount of recalibration will fix what is wrong with the 8-Ball. After all, it's just an 8-Ball and is easily confused.

So please, act responsibly when contacting this toy store oracle.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Night Out

Last night was Gordon's last night here before beginning his long journey back to Scotland. Thus, we planned to spend the evening downtown bouncing from place to place. Originally the plan was for his friend John to come along, but John couldn't get a babysitter. So it was just me and the temporary roommate.

The night really didn't start 'til my work day ended. And since I worked both jobs yesterday, that meant the night wouldn't start 'til about 9pm. But I'm told that the kids these days don't even start having fun until well after that time.

I got changed and made sure that I didn't smell like pizza anymore and then we were off. Now, I had never really spent any significant time downtown in Raleigh. The bank in which I work is located pretty darn close, but I never mingle among the tall buildings. And Gordon had only been down there a couple times, the last of which being about 2 years ago. So it was basically the blind leading the blind.

But I drove and we eventually found a place called The Hibernian Pub, a bar which Gordon had been to on his previous visits. Now, I'm really not much for the bar scene. At least, I never have been in the past. I won't say I've never had alcohol, but I've definitely never acquired a particular taste for it. I gladly volunteered to be the designated driver, even before there were only two of us going out.

The pub was loud and dark, as many bars are. As I learned a couple years ago at Andy's bachelor party, once the lights come on after last call, one wishes it was still dark. Things are different in the harsh light of last call. As it was last night, we only experienced the darkness of the pub.

At one point we began talking with a fairly hot waitress. Okay, Gordon did the talking. I just sat there, smiling and nodding like an idiot. Mostly he asked her what else we could get into downtown on a Friday night. She pointed us in the direction of another Irish pub and a place that was more of a dance club, but warned us that the latter had a cover charge.

And with that we moved on to the Irish pub. We couldn't be convinced to pay a cover for anything. What if you get inside and whatever you've paid for was worthless, when really, all you wanted to do was have a beer? Why pay to get in someplace when all you're gonna do is pay for a drink anyway? It's a rip off.

We walked roughly two blocks, but it felt much longer in the cold midnight mist. We got to the other pub and flashed our IDs and were then informed of the five dollar cover. That made up our minds for us. It was obvious the cover was to pay for the band that was playing just inside. They were playing Summer of '69, quite badly, by the way.

And with that we moved on back to the Irish pub we started out in. And this is where we finished the night. The bar never got any more crowded than it was when we were there the first time. And it seemed that whenever a woman would leave, she would only be replaced by a dude. So eventually, there wasn't much to look at. Around 1am, I started feeling that approaching-30-fatigue. Also, I never ate dinner, so I was ready to go. Luckily, Gordon was hungry too, so we left again.

The drive back, which should have been uneventful, turned into something crazy. Not long after getting back on Capital Blvd., the main road leading from Raleigh back to Wake Forest, traffic came to a stand still. Up ahead, it was easy to see several cars with the flashing blue lights. My first thought was accident. But then I saw all the police cars on the other side of the highway waiting around for anyone who dared to make a u-turn in order to avoid whatever was going on up ahead. After seeing several cops pull over those unsuspecting u-turners, it became clear that we were about to become a part of a massive police checkpoint. Every cop in Raleigh must have been there. I don't think I've ever seen that many police officers in one place at one time. It took awhile to get through there, what with the sheer volume of traffic being bottle-necked into the middle lane, but we got through the gauntlet just fine.

Around 1:30 we found a Taco Bell that was still open. Amazingly, we were their last customers. Around 2 we got back to the apartment and enjoyed our Mexican feast before crashing and sleeping off a very long day.

I did learn something incredibly valuable during the night. Taco Bell is not a good idea after 2am. Learn from that mistake.

All in all it really was a good time. And hey, now I know where to find some stuff downtown. Not that I'll pick up the habit of bar hopping in the near future. Kind of hard to pull that off when you don't particularly like to drink. But still, knowing is half the battle. Gordon flew out today, so I'm now a roommate short. On the plus side, I can go back to peeing with the door open.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Question of the Week: Another One About Death

Would you rather die peacefully among friends at age 50, or painfully and alone at age 80? Assume that most of the last 30 years would be good ones.

What kind of stupid question is that? Who really wants to die a painful death? I choose peaceful with friends. I mean, I like my alone time and all, but waiting around just to say I lived to 80 isn't worth being miserable in that final moment. I guess that gives me roughly 20 more years. Let's make them good ones.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Not the End of the World

With the new film 2012 being released tomorrow, there's been a lot of talk about the end of the world. Apparently, the film portrays the apocalyptic events that the Mayans may have predicted over a thousand years ago. Why do we assume they predicted the end of the world? Oh, because their ancient calendar ends on December 21, 2012.

Here's how I picture the whole thing going down. Please note that the names of the individuals involved have been changed to protect historic accuracy...

It's been a mild winter on the Yucatan peninsula. As spring begins, crops are being planted, virgins are being sacrificed; it looks to be a banner year for the ancient Mayan civilization. And so, as is often the case, the tribal council meets to discuss what their next big project will be. Picture with me a group of wise elders sitting around a stone table, each enjoying steaming mugs of cocoa.

Ted: Okay, gentlemen, I realize that these meetings are important, but could we please hurry this one along? I'm taking the wife and kids down to Machu Picchu. Apparently the Aztecs have a lovely crystal skull exhibit.

Rufus: Yes Ted, we all know you have a grand vacation planned. You don't have to rub your wealth in our faces every time we get together. Just because you invented chocolate...

Bill: Great cocoa, by the way Ted!

Ted: Why, thank you Bill!

Rufus: ...probably just accidentally discovered it anyway. You want to impress me then come up with a cure for smallpox...

Ted: Are you still talking Rufus?

Rufus: Never mind. Moving on. We really need to come up with another big project. We can't just keep sacrificing the pretty girls. People will start to notice that the only eligible women are all ugly. I say we build another pyramid. There's nothing in that clearing to the west. What do you say?

Bill & Ted: Lame!

Ted: What if we do a big calendar?

Bill: Interesting, do you mean a big one that is too big to hang on a wall? That sort of thing?

Ted: No, no, no... I'm talking about a calendar that will give accurate dates and astronomical events for the next... oh, I don't know... 1200 years? Think we can pull that off?

Rufus: Well, there's no question that it can be done, but what would be the point?

Ted: Look, civilizations rise and fall. We have to be realistic, we're not going to be around forever. Eventually we'll give in to our superstitious beliefs and all the pretty girls will be gone. Our boys won't want to procreate with just the ugly ones. I say we leave our mark on the world. Someday, some crazy archaeologist with a fedora and bullwhip will come along and see our calendar and think, "Man, they knew their stuff!"

Bill: I like it!

Rufus: Of course you do. I'm intrigued though. If we do this, in theory, the calendar could go on forever. We do, after all, have the capability of calculating astronomical numbers stretching into infinity.

Ted: So we come up with an ending date.

Bill: How about December 21, 2012?

Ted: The winter solstice? Why then?

Bill: Seems as good a day as any.

Ted: Sounds good. And you know, I bet when that time comes, people will look to our calendar and think all kinds of crazy things. They'll actually believe the world is gonna end. After all, the guy with the bullwhip already claimed we knew our stuff. I can just see it now. All those crazy people running around, pulling their hair out, crying over disasters that aren't even gonna happen. Best. Practical Joke. Ever!

Rufus: That is a pretty good one. All right, I'll get some scholars on this one right away. We've got some extra chisels in storage that haven't been used for awhile, guess I'll need to dust those off. Have fun in Peru, Ted.

And with that, history was made. Okay, so that might be a little inaccurate. But really, the end of the world? Head over to the Discovery Channel's website for a list of the top ten 2012 end of the world theories and why they won't happen. It's a pretty good read.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Aaron Vs. the Veterans Day Sale

I complain a lot about work. But there's a great thing about working at a bank: federal holidays.

So I went to the mall today with Nicole and my temporary roommate, Gordon. Gordon's sister has a birthday in a few days, so he wanted to get some nice American clothes to take back to Scotland for her. While at the mall, I did something that I haven't done since college. I bought clothing from a mall based store.

I stopped shopping in malls because the clothes are far too expensive. I've never in my life shopped in an Abercrombie or an Aeropostale. But back in the day, I bought stuff from American Eagle all the time. But they became wicked expensive, just like the other two stores I just mentioned. Maybe they were always wicked expensive, but before I maxed out all those college credit cards money just didn't seem to matter.

American Eagle is where I bought my new clothing. I found a decent shirt back on the sale rack. 30% off a $14.95 shirt translates to a pretty good deal, especially at a store like that.

While we were standing inside the local Aeropostale, waiting for Gordon to pay for his 2 for $20 t-shirts, Nicole mentioned that we were getting too old to shop in places like that. I quietly agreed, but out loud I claimed that I was not getting too old. Some of us have not yet hit 30.

But it did get me thinking. I am, of course, too old to dress like the kids these days. The clothes you'd typically find in stores like that are specifically aimed at teenagers with trust funds and college students with too many credit cards who put gel in their hair and bathe in cologne.

But someday, I'll be 60 years old. And when that day comes, I'm going on a shopping spree. I'll start buying the latest fashions from Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch and the Gap or whatever store the kids going to in 30 years. Then I won't be the creepy old guy in the neighborhood with a dozen cats who never cuts his grass. I'll be the hip old guy that wears awesome clothes.

Also, the good people at Kohl's sent my mother a $10 gift card in the mail. But it came to my apartment, so I used it for myself. Got a new pair of jeans. So, Mom, if you're reading this, sorry I took your card.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scary Stories

When I was a kid I loved the series of books Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I think I may have been in the 3rd grade when I was first exposed to the first one. Soon after hearing one of the stories and thumbing through the book, I found it at the elementary school's annual book fair.

Over the next two years I got the follow-up editions More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3. The trilogy was a favorite of mine for many years.

The books are fairly simple, consisting of classic American folktales, ghost stories, and urban legends. They're the kind of stories that are a little creepy, but they're okay for little kids, so as not to give them nightmares. On the other hand, the illustrations, those could keep one up at night.

My young friend Brett was telling me a ghost story last week, keeping some of the Halloween flavor alive. The story was enough to remind me of those old books. They're the books that I've held on to since I was his age. They're the books that are always on my bookshelf somewhere, and if they've ever been in a storage box, they haven't been there long. But this time, they may as well have been. Because even though they've been sitting on a shelf, I haven't read them in years.

Even today, as I write this, I haven't even picked them up to read them. But I did take them to Brett to let him read. I'm sure these books are still in print and can still be found at book fairs and Scholastic fliers across the United States. But I do kind of feel that I've passed on some classic creepy stories on to another generation. Now I've done my part. You're welcome, America.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Greatest Hits: I Am Legend... Again

Originally published 1/7/2008:

I know I already wrote a stellar review of this film. But some things hit me as I was sitting in church yesterday. I'm not sure how, but something the pastor mentioned got me thinking about the movie. Now, be warned, this post will have real spoilers involving the climax of the film. This means that if you haven't seen it, you'll want to skip this blog post until you see it. On the other hand, you could continue to read and then go into the theater knowing exactly what happens, thus cheapening your experience and ruining the fact that you just paid $8.00 for a movie that you know the ending to. Seriously, the next paragraph is full of intimate details...

Okay, not this one, but the next one. Really, you've been warned.

Are the unspoiled masses gone? Good, it's just the two of us. I love God. And I love movies. So I like to find God in the movies. And there are a lot of movies out there that are great illustrations of biblical truths. Sort of like modern day parables. Jesus taught people through the stories that he told. They were stories that the people of the day could get a handle on. These days, stories are told with those moving, talking pictures. It's a medium that we can get a handle on. Watch movies like The Matrix or Bruce Almighty and you'll see what I'm talking about. God created this world, and I firmly believe that He can be found everywhere.

I Am Legend shows us a picture of Christ at the very end. It's possible that portrait is painted throughout the movie, I'd have to see it again. For now, I just want to focus on Will Smith's last scene. He and a normal woman and child are being chased into his basement laboratory by the zombie/vampire creatures. While trying to escape with their lives, they notice that the zombie/vampire female that he captured earlier isn't so much a zombie/vampire anymore. This is all thanks to a cure that he had developed using the immunity in his own blood. The horde of zombie/vampires pour in. The good doctor draws a vial of his own blood. He gives it to the woman, then makes sure she and the child get out through the coal shute. He realizes that he needs to stay behind to stop the advance of the zombie/vampires so the other two can escape. This means he has to die. Which he does. Heroically.

If you're a Christian, I hope you're able to see Jesus in those actions. If you're not a Christian, I hope you're able to see Jesus in those actions after my next few lines. Christ's blood is the only thing that could have saved us from our sins. His sacrifice has allowed us to have life, to have passage into Heaven. Christ was crucified by the very people He was here to save. Are you seeing the parallels? Robert (Smith's character) had the cure to the disease in his blood. Imagine that the disease is sin. He knows that in the end he has to sacrifice himself so his blood could cure the masses. He's killed by the very people he's trying to save.

There will be those that will say I'm reading into things, I'm seeing what I want to see in this movie. Maybe I am. But I really think it's a good way to look at the world. Seeing God all around us is a good thing. Knowing that He's in everything we see and do is a great thing. It's a comfort. If you're reading this and you don't know the kind of peace that I'm talking about, please don't hesitate to e-mail me or find a believer that you know. So, to you in cyberspace, God bless.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Slightly over a year ago I decided that I would be running for president as soon as I'm old enough to legally do so. That will be 2016 for anyone who's keeping up with that sort of thing. What will make me stand out? All of my speeches will incorporate lines from the great movie presidents throughout the history of film. Jen, who would like to be my press secretary when that day comes, gave me an example of how an interview with me may go. Bonus points if you can identify the movie each quote is from...

Thank you for meeting with me today, Mr. President. I know your time is limited. How are you today sir?

President Aaron:
Good. My nervousness exists on... several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know...

(Chuckling) The most powerful man in the world? Good one sir, I promise to be gentle. Now, you talked about how congress recently denied appropriations you requested. How did you feel about that refusal to advance your legislation? Did it in any way make you feel less presidential?

(President Aaron pushes a red button while the reporter is asking the question)

Sir, what's with the red button?

PA (President Aaron):
Somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor's working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence headquarters. He's going about doing his job... because he has no idea, in about an hour he's going to die in a massive explosion. He's just going about his job, because he has no idea (President Aaron points to the red button) I just gave an order to have him killed. You've just seen me do the least presidential thing I do.

Touche sir. Moving on...

You recently nominated Bryce Greene to serve as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A staggering move considering he is only eighteen years old. How do you explain your reasoning behind this?

If you've ever seen the look on somebody's face the day they finally get a job, I've had some experience with this, they look like they could fly. And it's not about the paycheck, it's about respect, it's about looking in the mirror and knowing that you've done something valuable with your day.

Ok. On to a lighter topic.

Mr. President, it seems as if the United States is having what congress is referring to as a minor disagreement with our neighbor to the north. Canada is politely asking the United States to do our part in helping keep our shared border free of garbage and debris. We’ve always had an excellent relationship with the Canadian government and I assume we will continue on that course, so what’s your plan of action there?

In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And we will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore...

But sir, it’s only a few pieces of garbage and to be perfectly honest, it’s mainly ours.

We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win, this day will be remembered as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!

Sir, now I’m just going to ask you some rapid fire questions. Please answer as quickly as possible.

What are you thinking right now?

Do you think there will ever be a time when you can stand in a room with me and not think of me as the president?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

I'm gonna get the guns.

Who are you?

My name is Aaron Peck, and I am the President.

If I were to sneak onto Air Force One and you saw me what would you say?


And if I may, I’d like to give you one last scenario...
Mr. President one of your main accomplishments has been in restoring long lost allies to the United States. A feat many thought would be virtually impossible. Lets say tomorrow you get that fated call. The United States has been hit hard and we need backup. Who do you think would be our most trusted ally? Who would you call first?

Superman! Can you hear me? Superman! Where are you?...

Mr. President, thank you for your time.