Friday, January 23, 2015

The Alphabet Game: Me, Myself, & Eye Edition

Hello, and welcome to The Alphabet Game, where I take a look at 26 different things in one common category. This edition is all about me! Have fun.

A is for Anxiety - I've always been an anxious kinda guy. As a kid, I was always worried about how much time I had to play, before having to come back in side. As an adult, I have always been anxious about the things I was doing. Sort of an OCD-inspired kinda anxiety. For a while, about a decade and a half back, I even took Zoloft in order to counteract it. These days I just let the anxiety fly, and in turn, my freak flag, and all that kinda thang. I guess I'm doing okay. 

B is for Brain Tumor Comix - Back in 1989, I created a comic book universe. It was called Smiley-Face Land, and it was a world populated by smiley-face superheroes and villains. Granted, these were blatant rip-offs of Marvel and DC characters. From Cap'n Smiley-Face to Dr. Oddball to The Porcupine, these characters were part of my new comic book universe, all done under the banner of my comic book company, Brain Tumor Comix. In more recent days, Brain Tumor Comix has been the publisher of some of the best web comics of the last few years. Such iconic work as Famous People Attend a Cocktail Party and Naked Batman and the most iconic of 'em all, the famed La-La & Lu-Lu. Granted, as I float through life, changing all the time, some things fall to the wayside, and my cartooning has done just that. There has not been a new La-La & Lu-Lu in Gods know how long. But even so, Brain Tumor Comix, or BTC, is sticking around for the long haul. Maybe again someday.

C is for Class of '85 - So yeah, I graduated in 1985. The name of the school was Cumberland Valley, and we had a graduating class of about 600 or so. So yeah, it was a relatively big school. Biggest in the area. I can't say I was very fond of my high school days. Sure, I had friends, and sure, I pretty much got along with all the various cliques, but overall, I wasn't a big fan. My 30 year reunion is coming up in the Fall. I have not attended any of my past reunions, and don't see myself going to this one either. I don't really associate with anyone from school anymore, other than here and there on Facebook, so why should I even bother. It's not that I suddenly began disliking my high school chums and associates,but I am just really really really bad at keeping in touch with friends. This is probably why I do not have many old friends, but that is another story. Let's move on for now, but not to worry, my high school days will pop back up throughout this list.

D is for Doodlebug - How could I make a list of all things me, and not include the love of my life, my lovely wife, Amy!? I couldn't, so here she is. Oh yeah, and I call her Doodlebug, by the by. It's my pet name for her. She claims it means silly pest, but I truly mean it in the most endearing manner possible. I was married a coupla times before, but it wasn't until I met Amy that I actually wanted to get married. The others were just warm-ups for lucky number three. Oh, did I mention that we were married just one month after we met, and will have been together 17 years in March? Yup! She's my little Doodlebug, and I love her. Okay now, enough of the schmarmy lovey-dovey stuff, let's move on to something else.

E is for Experimental Forest - Actually, about a year after Amy and I were married (13 months after we met), we began publication of a small poetry magazine called Experimental Forest, whose name I had come up with after seeing a sign on a trip out west. The first issue was published in July of 1999, and it would run for nine issues, through November of 2001. The magazine (you know, back when there were still such things - the internet was a relatively young 'un back in these days) was the place to find not only the place to find all the best poets of Central Pa (back when such people still existed), but also a place to find poets and artists from around the world. Granted, Experimental Forest never became a sensation (we never lost money, but we never really made all that much either - not that such a thing really matters), but it was fun while it lasted.

F is for Fuck, My Favourite Word - I suppose if you are one of those who are easily offended, one of those who are easily offended by a simple a thing as a word, then I should probably say spoiler alert (Danger Will Robinson, Danger!) or something along those lines. Actually, I probably should have said that a few sentences ago. But what do I care? It's quite ridiculous to get offended by a word - at least by this word. This word is the best. It can mean a good time or a bad time. It can be used to describe the good, the bad, AND the ugly. It can be used as a noun, an adjective, an adverb, and a verb. It can be a call to arms of sorts, or it can be a quickly spewed insult. This is a great word. A versatile word. A brilliant word. The best fucking word in the whole fucking world. Fuck yeah! Get offended by that, bitches!

G is for Gary Gygax - A good way to see if someone is a nerd or a geek or whatever you want to call us, or at least to see if they/we are a nerd/geek who grew up in the 1980's, is to drop the name Gary Gygax, and wait for the aforementioned nerds/geeks to tell us just who the hell this guy is. Yup. For those who are not of the nerd/geek (would that be a neek or a gerd, perhaps?) persuasion, Gary Gygax is the creator of Dungeons & Dragons. That's right! And I was one hell of a dungeon master back in the day. Hoo Hah!!

H is for Hobo - When I was but a wee child, we had an Irish Setter named Princess. Princess was the family dog. A few years after princess passed on, my dad came home with a Beagle-mix puppy he had found alongside the road. we named this wayward mutt, Hobo. Hobo was the first pet I would call my own. I was about eleven or so. Hobo was my best bud throughout my high school days. I really miss that guy. These days, I have a new puppy. Her name is Marcy Proust and she is a Chihuahua, Jack Russell, Pug mix (a Jack PugaWOWWOW!!). She is my new best bud. Nine pounds of bad ass puppy dog! And I love her. I will always fondly remember Hobo, though. My first best bud.

I is for Instigator - So, as I was finishing up this list, I had just the Letter I to finish on up. I asked my wife and friend, who were sitting in the next room, "Hey, what should I put for the letter I, to describe myself?" Well, after words such as Irritating, Idiotic, and Inane came from the other room (thanx ladies), I decided to go with Irritating. I mean, come on, it does describe me rather accurately, but then a bit later I heard the word Instigator bellowed from the aforementioned other room. Now I like that one. I do enjoy instigating things. I asked my lovely wife, half jokingly of course, just what makes me an instigator. Her reply was for me to look at my Facebook page. Yup. She's kinda right. Now howzabout we discuss some politics? Perhaps religion? Your choice.

J is for Jobs, Jobs, Oh So Many Jobs - Let's see. I have probably had at least 50 jobs in my 30+ years of adult employment. Among these are a warehouse stockboy at Hechinger (my first job at 16), a manager at Flakey's Pizza, working the deli counter at Giant Foods (and sometimes the bakery as well), a slew of book stores (Encore, Walden, Borders, B. Dalton), an even bigger slew of restaurants (Scotts' Grille, Molly Brannigan's Irish Pub, The G-Man, Zephyr's Express, even a Bob's Big Boy for a few months), running Midtown Cinema with my lovely wife for 4 1/2 years (my personal record for staying at one job), a ton of one or two day temp jobs (one I left at lunch on the first day, due to hating the place), working the overnight shift at a Book of the Month Club warehouse, doing other overnite work at various convenience stores (7-11, Turkey Hill, Uni-Mart), a few fast food outlets (Rax, Subway, and McDonald's - the latter of which lasted just 3 days), a drug mule for the cartel (just seeing if you are still paying attention), pizza delivery for Pizza Hut, auto parts delivery for NAPA (a job where I lied about being able to drive stick, instead learning very quickly on my first day), stock monkey for the oh so wonderful people at Sears & Roebuck (yeah, that was sarcasm), usher, projectionist, & manager at Eric Twin Theatres (back when we still switched reels on the projectors), sandwich artist, and eventually manager at Subway, a coffee shop even (it was actually called Cafe Latte!?), and a few other random retail outlets (Toys 'r Us, Whitcomb Appliances, Sherwin Williams, Penn United Restaurant Supply). Oh so many jobs. If only they would pay me good money to write write write.

K is for The Krofft Supershow - Back in my wee childhood, one of my favourtie things to watch on TV was the Krofft Supershow, and all the shows that came along with it. From the minds of Sid & Marty Krofft, came a slew of drug-influenced (the Krofft's were teetotalers, but their writing staff were college age hippies and beatniks) children's programming. H.R. Pufnstuf, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Lidsville (the kook-kook-kookiest!), Dr. Shrinker, Elektra Woman & Dyna Girl, Land of the Freakin' Lost, The Far Out Space Nuts, and The Bugaloos, to name but a few. It was a grand time to be a kid. And now I have the Pufnstuf theme song in my head. It's a good thing.

L is for Llamas! - Once upon a time, when I was but seventeen years of age, I was driving myself to school one morning. My goal would always be to see just how fast I could get there, through those curvy country roads. I grew up in a suburban neighbourhood, but between me and my school, was a lot of country roads. So I would see just how fast my 1978 Gran Torino (yeah, that's right - and this was 1984) could get me back and forth from school. Come on, I was just a stupid seventeen year old kid. Anyway, one of these turns was particularly sharp, and my stupid seventeen year old self spun out of control and slammed into the fence of a Llama farm. well, the Llamas standing near the crash site, made some strange Llama-esque squeal, and ran off to the other side of the field. There was nary any damage done to the car, and nothing to the pretty sturdy fence, so I moved on, and left those poor llamas alone. I swear I would see them run, each and every time I came around that turn. Post Stress Disorder, perhaps?

M is for Moosehead & Mad Dog - Back when I was a teenager, before I could legally drink and all, my friends and I would, of course, still manage to drink. Our alcohol of choice in these days was, of course, the cheap stuff. That was what gave us a taste for Canada's Moosehead beer and that oh so wonderful of wine-ish drinks, Mad Dog 20/20. Yeah, baby! Those were the days.


N is for NBS - So back in 1980, at the tender age of 13, I created my own television network. It was the National Broadcasting System, or NBS. I had a complete primetime line-up, and even a daytime soap opera. Synopsis', cast lists, ratings, and even reviews. These were all kept in little notebooks. Cut to just last year, and NBS was reborn right here at All Things Kevyn. It acts as an alt-reality TV history kinda thang. All the details can be found on my index page, under the TV section. Yeah, I'm a nerd. What's it to ya!?

O is for The Oscars - As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a film lover. A true blue cinephile, if you will. I also happen to have a love for awards shows. Yeah, they really don't mean anything in the grand scheme of art or cinema or what have you, but I love 'em nonetheless. So, this all means I am a fan of the Oscars. I've always watched 'em, and I've always done the whole predictions thang, as well.I remember when I first started at this now defunct bookstore called Encore Books (see the Letter J), and the music department manager was holding what was an annual contest for customers. It was called Beat Bert (his name was Bert...still is) and customers could play against Bert at guessing the Oscars. Apparently Bert always won. Well, this year (1998, or actually 1999, for the year of 1998), I beat Bert. Granted, as an employee I was ineligible, but the fact still remains - I beat Bert. So now, every year since then, Bert and I compete against each other. Sometimes I win, sometimes he does. Sometimes we even tie. My lovely wife (see the Letter D) also plays along, and sometimes (once!) she beat us both. Yeah! And speaking of my lovely wife and the Oscars, we have held an Oscar party every year we have been together. For a period of a few years, this party was held at the arthouse cinema we once ran together, but now it is back at home. Granted, these days it may just a handful of friends, but the Oscar watching still endures. This year, there has been some complaining about the whiteness of the Oscars, but that is not going to stop me from enjoying them. The sexism and racism has always been a part of Hollywood. It's really no different now. Yes, it should be, but...but I digress. My predictions will be coming up right here the day before the Oscars. I usually get between 17 and 19 correct (out of 24). This year, as with every year, I am going for that elusive 20 correct. We'll see. I'm sure I'll still beat Bert, though.

P is for Pez! Pez! Pez! - Anyone who has been to my home, has seen the Pez. We are closing in on 2500 of the little guys, as I write this. Yeah, that's right - 2500. Actually, 2,491, to be exact. Oh, and about 300 or so other Pez related items. Yeah. That's how we roll around our place. The collection started innocently enough with the eight dispensers my lovely wife brought into our marriage. It took just under seventeen years to amass these 2,491 Pez Dispensers, and 300+ other Pezzy items. Our collection has been featured in several different mags and online news sites. There have been Pez conventions (yeah, baby!) and flea market hunts galore. It really is a sight to see. So come on over, and check it out. We might start charging admission though. Ha!

Q is for Quentin Tarantino - If one were to ask me who my favourite current director happens to be, and as a die hard cinephile, I do actually get asked that quite a bit, one is going to get the answer of Quentin Tarantino. Yeah, I love me some PTA and some WKW, but QT is the man in my universe. Sure, he's a love him or hate him kinda taste, but that just makes me love him all that more. Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds are two of the best films of modern times. Both are Masterpieces, and that is a word I do not wish to overuse, so it is reserved for only the truly great films. And we haven't even mentioned Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Death Proof, Django Unchained or the Kill Bill's yet. Huzzah to QT!

R is for The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Once upon a time, back in the Spring of 1986, when I was but a mere lad of 18, my best friend Bill, took me to a midnight screening of something called The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This started an obsession of sorts, as both Bill and I, along with a series of brand new friends and cohorts, began acting out the film in front of the midnight audiences. Yeah, we became the Rocky Horror cast at the Capital City Mall UA Theatres. For those virgins in the audience (that was an inside Rocky joke, btw), the cult known as Rocky Horror began back in 1978, when a group of fans decided to get up in front of the screen and begin to act it out, and mock it, and such. But I'm sure you already knew that. Anyway, I was part of the cast during the Summer and Fall of '86, and then again, with a completely different group of ne'er do wells, throughout 1992. I have seen the film around a 1000 times. My main character was Riff, but at one time or another, I played every character, and yes, in full costume, aka full drag. My favourite to play was Columbia, because I got to wear a gold glittery jacket and top hat, and had a rockin' dance number. And yes, there may also be pictures.

S is for Sonny & Cher - Back when I was a very wee lad (I was just five) my parents took me to a local(ish) county fair, called the York Fair. We got to see the musical act that was playing that day. That act was a duo known as Sonny & Cher. Yup, that's right. Freakin' Sonny & Cher. Granted, I kinda only remember this through being told I was there, and not necessarily actually remembering the show, but hey...whatevs. I saw Sonny & Cher, and that's all that counts dammit!

T is for TV Kid - I may have had an obsession of sorts when I was a kid. It was called TV. Just check out the Letters K and N. Now remember that this was the 1970's and 1980's, back before there were 1000+ channels, and a slew of online programs, and the like. We had three networks, and that was it. Yeah, the 1980's brought in cable and things like MTV and HBO and all that, but basically, as a kid, we had three networks, and that was that. Hell, these networks even went off the air between twoish and sixish in the morning. But trust me, I was still obsessed. I even kept a running daily log of the ratings, based on what my family and friends had watched the night before. Shows like Welcome Back Kotter, Three's Company, The Six Million Dollar Man, Star Trek, The Love Boat, Dallas, Dynasty, The Partridge Family, et cetera and so on and whatever. Of course, I am still a bit obsessed, but that's probably not news to any of my regular readers.

U is for Uncle Meat Pants - A few years back, a news item appeared in the local papers and news sites. It was about a seventy-ish year old man, who had been arrested at Wal-Mart, for trying to smuggle meat out of the store...in his pants. Yeah, well that man was my great uncle. This guy has always been a slimeball. I've never liked him. He went to prison for a while. That time it was for being some big wig coke dealer. But that isn't even why I dislike the guy. He's just a slimy creature, and when I read of how he attempted to sneak meat out in his pants, well, let's just say I wasn't surprised. At least my grandmother, his big sister, did not live to see her baby brother transformed into Uncle Meat Pants. My aunt got a bit worried when she realized that this was the guy who brought the meat to family cook-outs. Yup. That's Uncle Meat Pants.

V is for Vice Principal - I wasn't necessarily a bad kid, but I did enjoy skipping school. Sometimes I would skip the whole day. Other times, just a class or two, here and there. I wasn't going out to smoke or drink or anything like that. Those vices came post high school. No, I was just skipping to skip. School bored me, and I didn't want to be there anymore. So, I chose to be elsewhere. Coincidentally, this was also around the time that my mother began to be on a first name basis with our esteemed vice principal, Mr. Krobak, or Bob, as my mom would call him. Yeah, good times.

W is for Williams Grove Park - When people ask me where I grew up, I invariably tell them that I grew up in an amusement park. Most believe this to be a joke, and wait for me to laugh and tell them the truth, but ya know what? It is the truth. Until I was ten years old, I grew up in Williams Grove Amusement Park. It was a tiny little park (just one roller coaster, and an old rickety one at that) in the outskirts of Central Pa. Adjacent to said park were about twenty houses (all on one island, set between two creeks) where many of the park workers lived. Both my grandfather and grandmother were amongst those workers. So yeah, this is where I grew up, having relatively free reign of all the rides and the arcade and food stands. Yeah, it was a good place to be a kid. Sadly, Williams Grove has been closed for more than a decade now, and now sits there, weeds growing up over the abandoned rides. A ghost town of a place. But back in the day, it was surely the place to be.

X is for X-Men #98 - It was early January, 1976. I would have been eight years old at the time. Eight and a half to be a bit more exact. I was at the grocery store with my mom, and came across this comic book on the comic spinner rack, near the registers. Yeah, I said comic spinner rack, and this was back in the day when they still sold comic books in the grocery store. Anyhoo, this was a comic book that I wanted. Sure, I had read comics prior to this, but most of those involved Uncle Scrooge or Richie Rich or Hot Stuff, the little devil. I was eight and a half now, and it was time to move on to superheroes. So, I begged my mom to buy this comic book for me, and me being kind of a spoiled brat (and the fact that it only cost a quarter back then), she bought me the dang thing. What my mother probably did not know at the time, was that she was starting something of an obsession. Yup.

Y is for the Letter Y - Contrary to popular belief, or whatever kind of belief you, um..believe in, I was not born with the name of Kevyn. Yeah, my birth name was close, but no cigar, as they (sorta) say. My birth name was Kevin, Kevin Micahel Knox, but when I was in my early twenties, I decided to switch out the I for a Y, and became Kevyn Michael Knox. It was around the same time my friend Jim changed his name to Jym. These days my official, legal, on-the-social-secrurity-card name is Kevyn Michael Knox. It's Celtic. So there ya have it. Y is the word. Um, I mean Y is the letter. Yeah, the letter.

Z is for Zooey - Last, but certainly not least, here is where I talk about my #1 Zoo-Dogg, the inscrutable Hong Kong Zooey. For those of you who do not know - and just why the hell do you not know - Zooey is my cat. Well, one of many cats residing in the household of my lovely wife and I. His full name is Zooey Francis Glass, as my wife named him after one of her favourite (and mine too) literary characters. If you are asking just who Zooey Francis Glass is, then you should probably go away right now. Zooey, who is well into his cat teens (much older for you and me), has been dead several times. He has had to endure multiple doctor visits, and painful I.V.-ing, throughout the years, but he's still here, and still the coolest darn cat you'd ever want to meet. Sometimes I think he may outlive both my wife and I. So there ya go. Z is for Zooey!

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

3 comments:

  1. Great A to Z-Love the Oscars and always watched with my Dad (I remember the streaker). I miss the old days of just 3 big TV channels. In Canada we had some interesting TV like The Beachcombers (yawn) and The Pig and Whistle (Polka). I have no words about your Uncle who does sound creepy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Pig and Whistle sounds like a hoot and a holler. And yes, Uncle Meat pants is indeed, a creep. Thanx for stopping by. See ya 'round the web.

      Delete
  2. Wow! There are things in here that even I didn't know. I do remember you always going on and on about your amusement park roots though. On and on. Awww, just kidding. Love ya! And I'll see YOU around that web.

    ReplyDelete