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|Saturday, May 21st, 2011|
|(THUMP, THUMP) Is This Thing On?
I think it would be a massive understatement to say that things have been crazy busy. Financially things are tight as always but this doesn't seem to bother me nearly as much these days as it did in the past - which is either a bad thing or a good thing. :)
I have learned a LOT in the last several months - about the broadcasting business in particular and about myself in general. I think one of my problems in the past was that I never truly believed I was the type of person who could pro-actively get things done, despite anything I might actually have accomplished.
But that is changing. I'm realizing that hesitation to do most things I want to do is nothing more than fear of the unknown - which is utterly ridiculous. There is NO reason to fear the unknown. Any monstrously bad situations my brain likes to conjure up are nothing more than smoke and mirrors - I can tell they're illusions because THEY HAVEN'T HAPPENED. The realization of this is a very good thing.
So, what am I up to?
I'm interning at a TV production house and a radio station. I may quite possibly be about to get hired part-time at the radio station! They also seem to be impressed with my skills in the art of Audiomancy, which I'm hoping will lead to greater things.
And, as if that weren't enough, I have a book coming out.
I'll say that once more, because some days I have trouble believing it myself:
I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT!
Yep, it turns out that book of monologues I've been carrying around with me since the late 90's is going to be published later this year. I can't even describe how exciting the whole thing is.
The book is called Abduction Etiquette and it will hopefully be out by some time in August if we can get enough pre-orders for it. Want to own a copy? CHECK IT OUT: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/JRyan.html
And of course I'm still working on the blog ( http://jimyesthatjim.com
) and various podcasts.
About a year ago things were pretty much at a standstill. Now, I'm juggling several more tasks than I thought I ever could. And I'm enjoying every minute of it. :) Current Mood: happy
|Wednesday, August 18th, 2010|
|A Break in the Clouds
Believe it or not, I'm still here.
And for the first time in quite a while, things are looking up. It looks like I'm going to get an opportunity to go to broadcasting school in under a month's time! Essentially my grandmother has decided to aid me with my career - apparently for these last several years, she'd been helping my uncle and then my cousin and now that she's gotten them where they want to be, apparently it's my turn. I'm still kind of in shock about the whole thing.
She asked me to figure out what I "really" want to do for a career. Now of course, the answer is that I want to be a professional writer. However, I was able to get the gist here - she wanted me to choose something I want to do but that has a bit more financial stability to it. So, after weighing my options and looking at the relatively short list of things I'm interested in doing (writing, theatre, film, game design and broadcasting), the answer was pretty clear. The one thing I'm pretty sure we're still going to have for quite a while is television. Even though it's progressively merging with the web, I'm thinking technology is at the point that we're probably going to be making shows the same way for quite a while regardless of what medium we put them on. And they'll always need people behind the scenes.
So, I'm aiming for a career in broadcasting. I'm interested in both TV and radio, but I'm thinking I'll probably end up leaning more towards TV. We'll have to see.
But the writing most certainly isn't going to be left at the wayside! I've also found that I'm actually at a point that I WANT to write, a state that I've had a hell of a time trying to reach in the past but which now seems to be coming much more easily.
So basically, I have now managed to reach a point in my life at which I have occasion to be very excited and exceedingly happy. These are feelings I haven't really had for quite a while, and I'm trying to remember how they work, but with a bit of luck I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. There are individuals who at different times - largely just by their existence and their wonderful tendencies to be themselves - either have in the past or are now helping me tremendously with this process. If you're reading this, you know who you are. :)
It's a remarkable thing to wake up one morning and realize your life is about to suck substantially less than it has for some time. For the first time in ages, I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. Current Mood: jubilant
|Thursday, October 8th, 2009|
|Seen This Yet?
Hey, folks. Not a whole amount has changed since my last post, but there IS one new thing.
I've started YET ANOTHER BLOG! I'll still be using this one for personal journal stuff every now and then, but the new one is for nonfiction articles on various geeky topics (gaming, speculative fiction, etc). I've also included an audio component so that you can hear the articles as well (with music, sound effects, etc). So, if you think you might be interested feel free to check it out at:http://jimyesthatjim.com/ Current Mood: cheerful
|Thursday, August 20th, 2009|
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have started a second podcast! It's called The Every World News and is a fake news/comedy podcast that focuses on the genres of speculative fiction (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, etc). Check it out at:http://www.everyworldnews.com/
Just uploaded the first episode last night! :) Current Mood: cheerful
|Friday, August 14th, 2009|
|Being What I Must
I've got an announcement for a new project I'll be making in a few days that I'm very excited about, but first I need to give an update.
My Uncle Orin passed away a few weeks ago from blood poisoning. He was 61, if I recall correctly. He was a remarkable person and usually made a big impression on everyone he met. He was INCREDIBLY knowledgeable about quite a few things and could always effortlessly and entertainingly bounce back and forth between in-depth discussions of life, history, Monty Python, physics, philosophy, Star Trek, music, writing and virtually anything else you ever wanted to know about. The man was an intellectual giant and an accomplished showman, as well. He'd been acting on stage and singing in choirs from a very young age and kept right on acting and singing professionally (on stage, in bars and restaurants or in private - the venue didn't particularly matter) right up until his retirement -- after which he pretty much continued doing what he'd always done and continuing to do it quite impressively, just in private. Heck, he was singing and acting for me the last time I went to visit him, when he was getting very weak and had to stay in bed all the time.
He has been one of my heroes for quite a long time and when we last saw each other, I got to read him one of my recent short stories. His reaction (as well as the reaction of his wife Dale, who was in the next room) was VERY positive, and it was at that point that he told me something.
He told me that I have to keep writing -- to keep creating -- no matter what happens.
The fact that this man told me this on his death bed has had a subtle, but profound affect on me, I think. He's given me something that's a great burden, but one I'm bearing willingly because it's also a great gift. I have to keep writing. I have to keep working on short and long fiction. I have to keep producing audio work. I must continue my creative pursuits. It is IMPERATIVE. It is the thing that matters most. It is an edict that I MUST carry out -- and am happy to.
Essentially what this means is that I've decided that I'm going to be a professional writer of SOME kind even if it kills me. Preferably it won't.
I have to keep writing.
So that's what I plan to do. :) Current Mood: good
|Monday, May 4th, 2009|
|No Cause for Alarm Just Yet
A couple of things have happened over the last month, but nothing too earth-shattering.
On the downside, I still don't have a job. I am actively looking but for some reason I still can't seem to get myself to apply to customer service positions without having my vision fill with a crimson mist and then waking up hours later in a field somewhere across the state line with a hatchet in one hand and an empty gin bottle in the other.
Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating slightly. But not by much. So, I'm applying to as many jobs as I can without including customer service. I have a feeling that if I tried to actually do a customer service job right now anyway I'd snap or have an attack of some kind and I really don't want to think about what it might lead to. So, for the time being I think of it as protecting the public. :)
Also on the downside, it looks like my latest effort at writing comedy for the stage has failed miserably. I took my material in to the comedy troupe and they did a read-through of it. The reaction to it involved a lot of dead silence, followed by constructive criticism. Which is good as far as the pieces are concerned, so I'll be working more on those at some point. And I could see that they seemed to appreciate the stuff I'd submitted and even found it somewhat entertaining, but it was definitely not the kind of stuff they usually do.
So, it seems my material isn't necessarily right for the general beer-and-pretzels audience they usually play to. They haven't called me back since they said they needed to talk about it so I'm guessing this is probably the usual "don't call us, we'll call you" situation. Which may end up being nice and awkward for a little bit since a friend of mine is in their troupe and I plan to continue to attend their shows. But we'll work through it, I expect. (sigh)
What this does bring home for me is the fact that my material is likely better for a much more specific audience, so would probably be better on its own. I don't really have any full shows in my head to be worked on at the moment, though, so we'll have to see.
That said, there are a good deal of positive things going on as well!
After four years, I now finally have a mattress! I'd been sleeping on an air bed ever since I moved to Charlotte and I tell you there's a serious difference. I'm still adjusting to it, though, so my sleep cycle will probably still be fairly irregular for the next few weeks (or until I can get a frame and box springs, whichever comes first!).
The really good news is that I now have a podcast! I am releasing the episodes of my internet radio show (The Great Debate!) as a podcast so they can now be downloaded and listened to with impunity! IMPUNITY, I SAY!!!!
So, if you'd like to hear me make an imbecile of myself on a global medium (and, let's face it, who wouldn't?) ;) feel free to check it out at: http://otherdoc.libsyn.com/
You can also get it through iTunes, if you're so inclined. :) Current Mood: bouncy
|Thursday, April 9th, 2009|
|Meanwhile, Back at the Bat Cave...
Well, the last couple of weeks have been interesting, to say the least.
I'm now renting a room in a dorm-style apartment across the street from UNCC, which of course means I'm still in Charlotte. Thankfully, I managed to get all of my stuff out of Mark's place before the hounds descended on us, but a good deal of it is now in storage and I'll have to work out what I'll be doing with it since it likely won't all fit in the new place unless I somehow manage to get far better at Tetris over the next few weeks. While the closet I have IS a walk-in closet, it's not quite as big as the one I had before so there's likely to be a lot of cramming of stuff together going on soon.
My new roommate seems like a nice fellow and I think I should be able to get along with him pretty well. Which is good, because the way these rentals work, you have no control over who else is going to occupy the apartment. The apartment actually has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and we're the only two guys here right now, though that may easily change in the near future -- particularly since one or two of my friends are potentially interested in moving in, as well. We'll have to see how that goes.
The Great Debate is still going well, and I think I'm going to want to start an actual podcast of some kind soon if I can get everything together up to and including a web site. More as that develops.
There's now also a chance that I may have some of my sketch comedy performed on stage soon! I submitted some material to a friend's local comedy troupe and they apparently liked it enough that they've invited me to a writer's meeting later this month and asked me to bring more material to it. I'm really looking forward to it.
So, all in all, except for the whole tsunami-of-debt-and-joblessness issue, things are going pretty well! ;) Current Mood: good
|Wednesday, March 25th, 2009|
|Circle the Wagons!
My goodness, it's been harrowing of late.
The good news: My unemployment came through so I'm at least getting the equivalent of minimum wage for the time being. Yay!
The bad news: It turns out they'll be evicting us after all.
So, I'm busy running around and trying to get rid of a bunch of my stuff so that it'll be easier when I move some time within the next couple of weeks. I've already taken my comics in to sell and am presently getting my books together -- and there are a LOT of books. In fact, I think most of what's left will end up being books and elderly computer equipment. The books I'm not too worried about since I'll probably toss them to friends and/or libraries. The computer stuff is going to be more difficult, since that includes games I grew up on that will be VERY difficult to say goodbye to -- yes, even though it may not be possible, realistically speaking, to play most of them any more or to take the time needed to get the old computer equipment working again for the same purpose. Anyone who suffers from nostalgia of any kind will hopefully understand where I'm coming from -- and if you don't then I pity the large, gaping hole in your life experience that I am now tasked with the sad duty of pointing out to you. ;)
Where am I moving? No idea yet. I'm still making inquiries. I've had a couple of possible leads on some jobs and begun to make a couple of connections with the local publishing industry, so I'm hoping I can stay in Charlotte, but there's always the possibility that I may end up having to jump to a different city. We shall have to see what my life's current chaos storm brings.
Let the tempest commence. Current Mood: curious
|Monday, March 9th, 2009|
|Monday, February 23rd, 2009|
|The Hunt Goes On
So, the unemployment office finally contacted me and we did our interview. They've now told me it may be another 3-4 weeks before they have a decision just because of the sheer number of people applying for unemployment right now (big surprise), but to go ahead and continue filing weekly certifications until then. In the mean time, I'm still sending out resumes to answer postings on multiple job sites in the hope of turning something up.
As part of receiving unemployment (which hopefully will be approved) I also have to have at least two in-person meetings with prospective employers per week. At this point I have not been applying full-on to customer service positions -- I know some folks will think it is suicidal to discount anything right now, but at present I still have to resist the impulse to stab myself in the eye every time I send my resume in for a customer service job. Honestly, I need to get a job that I can live with. If I end up doing something I hate again I am seriously worried that it'll lead to some pretty severe psychological damage, which is not something I'm just going to try to sweep under the rug like a good little drone. The last thing I need is to end up on a rooftop with an AK-47, shouting down to the police in iambic pentameter.
So, what I've been doing so far to fulfill the face-to-face meeting requirement is to go to places where I actually WANT to be employed. At the moment that means theatres, TV stations, radio stations and newspapers. I've been to two theatres so far and while, not surprisingly, they're not hiring for any paid positions, they were both insistent on wanting me to keep in touch, so at the very least I am starting to make those connections that I need to make in order to eventually get somewhere that I would like to be.
I can live with that. :) Current Mood: calm
|Monday, February 16th, 2009|
|The Career Progresses While the Job Hunt Does Not
It's a funny thing, really.
I only seem to have a career going when I don't have a job.
So, while the unemployment office hasn't gotten back to me yet and there haven't yet been any bites from potential employers, I find that I'm about to have my audio work broadcast globally and my written work published regionally.
And while there's no money involved in either case, it's still incredibly good news.
I'll be putting together several brief episodes of an audio series I'm calling "The Great Debate" (in which I basically have arguments with myself) and which will be part of the lineup of War Pig Radio
, a new 24-hour internet radio station for gaming/sci-fi/fantasy/comic geeks like myself. I have no idea when my show will be appearing in their feed, but the fact that it will be there is incredibly cool.
It also looks like two of my monologues are going to be published in a regional poetry magazine put out by a local publishing company. They host open mic nights and I ended up going to one and performing there this past weekend. The guy who runs it snatched up two of the pieces I read as soon as I'd performed them and informed me that he wanted to publish them in his magazine. It'll probably be out in about 9 months or so, and I'll post more info as that develops.
So, let's just say that while the whole earning-a-living thing is still something I still need to find a solution for very soon, I'm pretty ecstatic about everything else. :) Current Mood: giddy
|Tuesday, February 10th, 2009|
|Sunday, February 8th, 2009|
|Strike That! Reverse It!
Okay, remember job-related that rant I went on a few weeks ago? That long, heartfelt, agonizing post about selling out at work and lax standards and struggling to keep my job and all that?
Yeah, forget it.
It turns out I didn't sell out soon enough. They let me go this week.
My supervisor was very pleased with my increase in productivity and when I specifically asked her if I'd be given enough time for it to improve my overall monthly scores, she indicated that I would have another three months or so. But then, the management above her decided to go ahead and press the Eject button on my cubicle anyway when they saw that I hadn't bonused at the end of January -- at least, that's how it was explained to me (okay, they didn't say anything about an Eject button, but I'm sure they must have one somewhere). They were also very cautious when they broke the news to me, possibly expecting me to pull an Orson-Welles-in-Citizen-Kane routine on the office furniture, so I'm pretty sure they understood what was happening. Either that or that's their standard firing procedure (which it easily could be, given the company's rate of turnover).
The funny thing is that I didn't really crash into a panic or a depression, which is what I think would ordinarily be expected. I was sort of numb for a couple of days, and then I started feeling a lot better. I think this mostly has to do with the fact that I really despised working there and being released was rather like being let out of a Gulag. So, there was a good deal of ambivalence as the positive balanced out the negative.
Then something unexpected happened.
I have never doubted that my situation over the last several years took a serious psychological toll on me -- what with the soulless call center job I had in Atlanta, my breakup and divorce and then the soulless call center job in Charlotte. My roommate, who has always been concerned for my well-being, would let me know on multiple occasions that it looked like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and I just wasn't myself. Posts on this very Livejournal from earlier times can doubtless corroborate this.
Well, a couple of friends took me out to dinner the other night and we had a nice, long talk. And, as the evening was drawing to a close, I noticed myself talking about the sort of things I like to talk about with people and having a good time doing it, which is something I haven't experienced in quite a while (whereas just last month, I would have an okay time doing it but still be concerned about how the conversation was going, how soon I'd have to be going to bed, what I'd need to do to steer the conversation onto something more interesting so as not to run out of things to say and have to deal with awkward silences, etc.). I took note of my reactions and emotions and after they left it occurred to me that I may finally be myself again.
Not to be overly melodramatic, but let me just say that one more time.
After all this time, and everything that's happened to me, I think that I may finally be myself again.
And I've got to tell you, whatever else happens, it feels damn good. :) Current Mood: good
|Sunday, February 1st, 2009|
|What For Brain Not Work Good?
Hmm...( Read moreCollapse )
And now I must rush into the kitchen and rescue the pot of water I started boiling about an hour ago but forgot about until just now because I was blogging. Gah!!!! Current Mood: busy
|Sunday, January 25th, 2009|
|The Immediate Future Will Be Paid For In Monopoly Money
This week was an interesting little romp through the playground of masochism.
According to my roommate, he's smoothed things out with the rental company so we've dodged yet another bullet. Yay!
That said, though, I'll still likely be needing to move for this summer, so I've made a few inquiries. I may have a couple of avenues already opening, which is good, but the devil will, as always, be in the details.
I got paid, which was amusing. The gap between the actual amount of my paycheck and my expenses is simply hilarious. I think it's good that I'm laughing about it because if I weren't then I'd probably be crying. I'll be paying my part of the rent, but I'm sure my auto and student loan people will be decidedly unsympathetic until my workplace provides me with its next little burst of hilarity in a couple of weeks.
All that said, I now have to figure out whether or not I'm going to a convention in late February called SERE, which is down in Atlanta (about 4 hours away and spanning about 4 days). The problem is, of course, that I have to go ahead and request the days off for it (which they may or may not allow) ahead of time when I won't be sure if it's even feasible for me to go financially -- on the one hand, I still have to catch up with everything, but on the other if I'm actually able to start reaping the benefit of having sold out my principles at work in exchange for a somewhat less funny paycheck then it may not be a problem.
And of course, it's tax season. Can't forget that lovely wild card. We'll have to see where the chips fall this year on that one.
The good news is, though, that I got to play the Amber Diceless RPG today, which is, in many ways, a form of crack for me and some of my friends. It's really cool to get a chance to play it for a change instead of GMing it, I have to say. I'm having a really good time with it. Most of the time I like to describe the experience of playing Amber as freebasing on pure essence of role-playing wrapped in bacon. It's that good. :)
Now I must finish cooking dinner, doing laundry and perform other mundane tasks in time to get to bed and probably not get enough sleep to be functional at work tomorrow. Ah, the joys of modern life! ;) Current Mood: pensive
|Sunday, January 18th, 2009|
Well, things sort of came to a head for me at work this week.
(And, BTW, for any who were wondering about the eviction issue, we're kind of in a holding pattern at the moment, but my roommate says he thinks we've pretty much dodged the bullet on that one -- I'll know more after he's had a chance to talk to the people in the front office again, so no new news on that front yet).( Read along as Jim curses the darkness!Collapse )
Ah, well. Rant over. Have to go to bed and get up early for work tomorrow like a good drone. Resistance is futile, after all. :)
|Sunday, January 11th, 2009|
|Illness and Despair
Well, the week hasn't been all that exciting and I haven't a great deal to report.
I've started playing D&D again, which has been fun so far -- we shall see how/if things develop.
Why do I say "how/if?"
Well, I just found out that we may be facing eviction shortly. My roommate didn't want me to worry about it, so he hadn't been letting me know that he was behind on his half of the rent (the apartment is in his name -- I give him my half at the beginning of each month and he gives it to the apartment complex). To his credit, he has been doing everything he can to keep up with things but he's had a lot of medical problems recently that have kept him from working as much as he'd like. And, knowing him the way I do, I have no doubt that he fully believed he would be able to take care of the problem of lateness whenever it came up. Tonight, though, he told me that after trying to work something out with the people at the front office they've advised him that a decision about it will be made at a higher level this time. I know he has every intention of paying them what's owed even if he's evicted and the people in the local office have worked enough with him on issues in the past to know that as well (since this isn't the first time we've been late due to the usual life happenings and such), but the question is going to be whether or not these mysterious "higher-ups" will realize that. So, we'll probably know one way or the other in about a week or so. Keep your fingers crossed.
This is presently compounded slightly by the fact that I've been sick all weekend and I'm hoping that I'll be well enough to go into work tomorrow. Because if I'm not then I may be running into problems there, as they have a somewhat draconian attendance policy when they choose to pay attention to it -- the question will really just be how much will they choose to pay attention to it on this occasion? I'm sure they already have enough boxes checked on whatever forms they require to fire anyone they choose at any given moment without running the risk of serious legal action, so we'll have to see what happens on that front as well.
Boy, this is gonna be an exciting week. :/ Current Mood: sick
|Monday, January 5th, 2009|
I see by the Livejournal clock that it's just past 2 years since I've last posted an entry.
I am still alive.
I would like there to be more hours in the day so that I can post more often. I will try to update my Livejournal more often if I can. Sunday is looking like it may become a writing day so I will try to do it on Sundays.
One of the terrible curses my job (which is still the demonic call center) places on me is the fact that I cannot seem to get anything done after I get home unless I stay up late (like I have tonight) and risk coming in late for work the next day because I have not had enough sleep. Or I could try to get on some kind of schedule and DEAL with it, though at the possible expense of time that is usually spent unwinding, once again putting what scraps of sanity I may possess at risk.
Of course, I could just start drinking instead.
It worked for Hemingway.
Not Hemingway's liver, though. So that probably isn't a good option.
Switching to the Metric Day would be nice. Maybe I can convince the county... ;)
In any case, I am going to start writing more often even if it kills me (I must admit, though, that if it DOESN'T kill me then I shall not be disappointed). For those who wish to witness my latest feat of death-defying strangeness whereby I attempt to get myself to write more by getting other people to shame me into doing it, feel free to check out my writing journal at:http://blog.myspace.com/otherdoc
I've just posted my first progress report there. Keep your fingers crossed! :) Current Mood: tired
|Monday, January 1st, 2007|
|There's someone at the door with a box full of 2007. Who ordered a New Year without telling me? :)
New Year's Eve. Not that eventful. We had some folks over. We did not watch the sphere descend. Just sort of glanced down at our watches and said, "Oh, by the way, Happy New Year." Then we played Talisman. (And boy does that game hurt if you don't set a time limit...)
We also got to listen to the annual New Year's Try to Guess if It's Guns or Fireworks Contest. You see, basically, if you go to the local police web site and check out the map with the dots showing crime reports in the different areas of Charlotte, our neighborhood is a Jackson Pollack. So it can be difficult to distinguish just how MUCH fun someone is having when you hear the loud POP from outside.
Well, now I shall try to get to sleep with it in the background. What fun! Good thing I'm off tomorrow (okay, well it's TODAY, now, but you get the idea...). :)
Oh yeah... Happy New Year! Current Mood: tired
|Saturday, December 23rd, 2006|
Okay, so I won't be going into lots of detail since I'm sure lots of things have happened to me since September, when I last posted or looked at LJ (no, I haven't even read any of my friends' blogs yet as I write this -- I will get to it, I swear!), so I'll just talk about what's going on NOW.
I've had a nice vacation away from everything during which I visited friends of mine in Myrtle Beach, then relatives in Columbia. During this trip, three things became very clear to me:
1) I'm a very angry man and my job is only exacerbating things to the point that I seriously need to find something else to do to make a living -- I'm starting to look now and I hope I can come up with a new Moolah-making process soon.
2) There are a lot of writing projects in my future, at least one of which will likely lead to a writing credit on a stage production (which may lead to writing credits on a number of stage productions) -- as yet, this will be unpaid, but is still a big deal as it means exposure! :)
3) I don't like wearing dinner jackets. Granted, I was pretty sure about this issue before, but now I have confirmation and can firmly state that I am now fully encamped in the anti-dinner-jacket party. (Of course, I will still have to wear them in the future, perhaps, but I shall try to minimize this as much as possible, as it, too, will only exacerbate things).
In any case, what this means overall is that there are changes coming. With any luck, they'll be for the better. The funny thing is that as I drove home today I felt a strange sense of euphoria that I couldn't quite place as a specific feeling until I realized it was that unfamiliar acquaintance of mine: Hope. Let's keep our fingers crossed and bet on her staying a while.
In the mean time, I'd like to THANK you so VERY much (and you know who you are) for addicting me to frigging "House" this past week. Now I will have to track you down and club you like a baby seal. ;)
In other news, Mark has just gotten ahold of the new uber-multi-disced Superman movie collection, so there's a lot of Superman saturation occurring. I couldn't be more pleased.I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.
A tree whose branches, wide and strong...
The camp town ladies sing this song...
-- Marlon Brando digressing in an out-take as Jor-El Current Mood: amused