Friday, May 28, 2010

Number 7

Sing karaoke...

This. Was. The. Worst. Thing. On. My. List.

Where do I even begin...I guess at the beginning.

Sing karaoke was not on my original list. After looking over my first list, I decided a few needed to be changed. For some reason, I decided to add this to the list.

This single task alone has haunted me. I have been so so so so nervous about it that I can't even concentrate sometimes. Literally, I have lost sleep over this one. I am not quite sure why but I'm assuming it is because I do not have a good voice and I think it has always been an insecurity of mine. Being an "actor" (I use that term loosely) there are many times you have to be on stage and put yourself out there. I have no problem with that. However, being an actor comes along with an unspoken assumption that you have some booming Broadway voice...I don't.

This blog is not here for me to be all "I don't have a good voice" and people to be all "Yes, James you do." I'm not fishing for compliments. Fact is fact. I am not a strong enough singer to ever consider any kind of musical theatre. This is where I assume my insecurity comes from. SOOO I decided to sing at Ham's karaoke on Thursday night.

Now, karaoke is quite the blessing and curse for 2 reasons

1. Drunk people can be your best friend (cheering, clapping, singing along)

2. Drunk people can be your worst enemy (Booing, cussing, heckling)

I was afraid.

First, I had to pick a song. Great.

I wanted to sing an upbeat fun song. Not one sung on glee before or by anyone overly talented.
My lovely friend Rachel got me the American Idiot soundtrack for my birthday and I have been rocking out to it lately. I decided I would sing Holiday because the chorus was fun and I could apply it to my blog. The chorus says "I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies, this is the dawning of the rest of our lives..." I thought that was cool and applicable. It'd be perfect.


Hams didn't have that song. They had about ten Green Day songs but not that one...of course.

Let me back up by saying that I was joined by a group of extremely attractive young ladies. Rachel, Marie, and Isley.

Soo we get there and i'm borderline shaking. I was terrified. We get the notebook of songs and to my dismay Holiday isn't on there...blah blah blah. We flip through the book about six million times. Just so everyone knows it is hard to find an appropriate, fun song for people that aren't very good singers.

At last, we settled on Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard. I write my name on the little slip and we wait.

...and wait

....and wait

.......and waitttttt

They don't call my name. It was over an hour. At this point I was ready to go and overly nervous and about to die.

Marie and Isley then went and beat up the man who was in charge and grabbed the mic from him (or asked him nicely if I was soon). He said yes and we waited.

Thennn the moment of truth occurs and he calls James.

Now, I had a great speech planned in my head about how I was going to say something about how I was doing this for my blog and some beautiful sentimental lines. It was that time that I saw another guy obviously intoxicated walking up as well.

His name was James. Great.

He grabs the microphone and looks at the screen as my song starts playing. He drops a few choice words as I explain that it was my song. He walks away after glaring at me. To make things even better, all his friends start booing.


I sing.

I realize the song is way to high for me.

I finish.

We leave.

We take picture of me being glad to be done with number 7.

Now, being the great blogger I am, I realize that people would not be pleased with only pictures so I decided to throw my remaining pride I had to the wind and post it.

It is dark and I'm sorry that you can't see that well...such is life!

Number 7 is done!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Number 15

Do something 100% selfless...oh gosh

This task on the list was one of the few that after adding I thought to myself "why do you hate yourself?" In theory, it is great. I would love to be selfless all the time or atleast more than once a summer, but then it started dawning on me what exactly that entailed. Doing something 100% selfless is doing something to help someone without any expectation of return or any personal reasons. Well, seeing as though I was attempting to do this to mark it off my list, I knew this already messed me up because I was doing it to accomplish something for myself. I was screwed!

On top of this, I struggled with the fact that even if by some remote chance I felt as though I accomplished this task, how would I write about it? If I blogged exactly what I did, it would be bragging almost and totally go against the entire point. I struggled with this one for a really long time. I talked to my family and continued asking for advice. It was at this time my sister reminded me of a very special episode of my favorite show. FRIENDS.

I am not sure how many avid fans of FRIENDS read my blog but if by chance you are one, perhaps you remember this episode. I cannot specifically remember the entire plot, but it involves Phoebe attempting to do a selfless act. Joey then argues with her that there is no possible way that it can be done. Throughout the show Phoebe trys to do selfless acts but continues receiving something in return. She eventually has this discussion with her peeps.


After battling with what I was going to do, I finally just gave up and decided that maybe something would happen and it would all work out.

Here is where it gets kind of interesting...

I am going to give a short summary of what happened and why I am crossing this off the list. I am not going to give any specifics and am honestly going to try to keep it as vague as possible. In all honesty, I feel stupid writing about it because it is personal and I don't feel like I need to "brag" about it, however, I knew it wouldn't be fair to just cross it off without any explanation. So here it goes...

This week has been a crazy week. I feel like I have grown up a lot especially within one certain circumstance.

Earlier this week one of my friends had a very personal situation occur. It was a very intense and I was put in a position I never had been in before. This person needed me to do some favors for them and encourage and support them during a difficult time. I love this person and am very close to them so of course I agreed without any hesitation. I was thinking nothing of this list at all. Throughout the week, the issue has continued to be dealt with and I've been there for for the person as best I could.

After the situation that one day, I was filling my brother in on everything and he stops while I am telling him the story and says, "Dude, you just did something 100% selfless. Cross it off!"

It was in that moment that my jaw just kind of dropped. At first, I just wrote it off but the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was probably right (or at least the closest I would get).

I really hope this doesn't make me sound bad or boastful because that was not the intention at all. I would never even have thought about using said scenario if an outside person hadn't stopped and told me that this was my number 15.

I am sorry there are no pictures or anything extravagant. Obviously, I am protecting someone's identity and it's not like I was preparing for any of this.

I know that this task put a lot of things into perspective for me. Sometimes it is so easy to just be focused on everything in your own life that it is hard to step back and look around at the people around you. I feel naive that it took a stupid task to make me realize how often I can act selfish. I'm hoping that through this, I can learn to put myself second and really focus on others more.

I am marking number 15 off!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Number 6

Another one bites the dust...

Sooo this one was a harder decision than I would have thought. I watch a lot of tv and am addicted to a lot of shows. Every show I have a desire to watch, i do. So when it came to watch a whole season, I was stumped. It was just when I was about to head to blockbuster to just scan the shelves that I remembered something. My brother's roommate (Trey) had some seasons of Dawson's Creek.

I am not sure what you all know about Dawson's but I knew very little. It was airing in the late 90s so I was about eight or nine, aka not what I would have been watching at the time. I asked my favorite brother in the world if he would see if Trey would let me borrow a season, and low and behold he did!

Now, this summer I'm working, going to play practice, and working on this blog (trust me it is a lot more work than you'd think), so I was so confused to when the heck I would do all this. It was then that my brother informed that he was probably going to be spending the weekend at the house since his gf, Whitney, is in Italy for a few weeks studying abroad. Knowing that he was going to be pitiful, I decided we would have a hardcore Dawson's marathon. I'd keep him company and he'd help me mark this off my list, everyone wins! ANDDDD it was filmed in Wilmington which just makes it a bigger win!

Soo Friday night rolls around and we pop it in. I know very little about Dawson's. All I know is 1. Katie Holmes is in it. 2. They have a freaking awesome theme song...or so I thought.

We started the first episode and I was expecting to hear/see this...

BUT NO...freaking after season 1 and 2 they changed the theme. Oh well, life goes on. I was depressed

John and I went hardcore all Friday and a lot of Saturday. Sadly, he went home and I was forced to finish alone on Sunday and Monday. I am done though and enjoyed it for the most part. The show is a classic teen drama only with a lot of 90's attire and oldies music attached.
Glad to have another one finished. My summer is starting to pick up!

Comments are appreciated and encouraging! Don't give up on me, I know sometimes there are breaks in between for awhile but I have a lot of "in the process" ones.

"I don't want to wait, for our lives to be over..."-Dawson's Creek

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Number 17

This has been a pretty good week so far! I have already crossed off two tasks. Ok, so let me fill you in on my ghost hunting adventure.

Soooo Monday night I was at Barnes and Noble helping a friend of mine study for an exam when I got the brilliant idea to go ahead and try to knock this one off the list. I texted my friend Marie and she said she was game and then we decided to invite our other friend Isley. We decided we would leave around 10ish.

I went back to my house and did some preparatory work. I only knew of two places I had heard of that were haunted at all. The first was acid park. I looked it up on the internet, found the legend and directions, and then we set off! We made a rule that no music could be on during the car ride there (it is in wilson if anyone wanted to know) and that we would tell scary stories the whole way.

After about 30 minutes into the drive, I ways already freaked out because we were driving and no one was around and it was going on 11. We had told a million scary stories so then I figured it would be time to fill the girls on "the legend" (I had previously withheld the information until we were close enough to get really freaked out). I'm going to use my handy dandy copy and paste to show everyone the summary of the legend...

On prom night, Carol Simpson and boyfriend decide to enjoy the night tripping on acid. Driving home, they approach the five-way intersection on Wiggins Mill Road. With the boyfriend driving at high speeds, the car turns the tricky corner, spins off the road and hits a nearby tree. The daughter dies instantly, but somehow the boyfriend survives and tells the father what happened and what he saw. Windmills now encompass the site of the accident, and were built for CarolSimpson posthumously. While Vollis Simpson's true inspiration of his creation is debated, the legend has it that Mr. Simpson created Acid Park, a collage of unique and unusual windmills and whirligigs, from the description of the boyfriend in his high state of mind. The park is filled with tiny little reflectors that give off an eerie glow when passed by car at night. Also, the car that was crashed that night still remains lodged in its place where it took a turn for the worst.

Soo we read this and I began telling them about all the different things I had heard about going there...Apparently, some people had the dad of the daughter chase after them with a shotgun. Another person claims that the girl was by the car and telling them to "save her."

Needless to say when we finally turn down the road around 11:15 we are terrified (I only remember the time because it was 11:11 and Marie said "make a wish" and I said "don't let us die"...slightly melodramatic, I know!) You travel down this old country road for like five minutes. It is pitch black and we are the only cars around. We finally come around a turn and start seeing all the mirrors and reflectors. As we get close we saw the tall windmills and mirrors covering everything. The headlights of the car bounce off them and everything is at once illuminated. It looked like a creepy run down carnival. I began slowing down as we were passing to see if I could see the car that was crashed. I then remember reading that you had to go down a dirt path to find the car, so as I am slowing I see a dark opening and realize it has to be where the path is...of course at this point we are all shaking and so freaked out. Just as I am about to turn down the path, I think I see something moving and I slam on the accelerator and start screaming. Keep in mind that I am the man in the car so as soon as I lose my composure, it is all over. For probably about 10 seconds we all just screamed at the top of our lungs. It may or may not have been the most intense moment of my life.

I'm realizing that this is getting rambly so I'll try to speed it up. We passed back and forth like 3 times before we actually got the courage to turn down the dirt path. At first, we didn't see the car but on the way back...there it was, smashed into a tree.

We freaked out kind of a lot. Isley and I wanted to get out and take a picture with it but at this point Marie was really scared and just kept saying "I want to go guys." We decided to just keep driving and pulled out on the main road and just took pics in front of the reflectors instead.
We were shaken and Isley was about to wet herself so we made a pit stop at some rundown gas station complete with a scary homeless man and a huge 18 wheeler (we were freaked out ok...ever seen the movie joyride?). Amidst our break we decided that we weren't going to give up on our ghost hunting yet and wanted to go to Pactolus Lights.

To cut down on length i'll just say that it took us almost two hours to finally get where we were going. We got lost...a lot. Highway 30 is a tricky one to find. At this point it was about 1:30? We are crazy, I know. Here is "the legend" of the Pactolus Light for all interested.

The story begins sometime in the early 1900's. A young man rode his horse from Greenville to Pactolus. Pactolus is a small community east of Greenville. At this time, there was a train station in existence in the Pactolus community. The purpose of this trip was to surprise the young man's fiancee by meeting her train. Unfortunately, the train was extremely late this particular evening and the young man was soon alone in the dark. Of course, he really was not alone. His horse was very impressive and caught the attention of three men who were walking along the train tracks. They decided that this was a perfect opportunity to catch a ride rather than walk to their destination. The three men hid in the brush surrounding the train station and as the young man rode by, he was ambushed and killed. The three men hid his body in the thickness of the woods. However, the horse was frightened away and returned to Greenville two days later. The family feared the worse after the horse returned without his rider. They searched the train station and the surrounding area only to find nothing.The young man's ghost is seen walking beside the train tracks. The form he takes is a single light floating beside the tracks. Sometimes the light floats at waist level (as if he is walking beside his horse) and other times the light floats above the head, as if he is riding his horse). The young man uses the light to let his fiancee know that he was there to meet her.

Soo we finally get to the road you are supposed to turn down and it is pitch black. At this point i'm about to have a nervous break down and Isley thankfully says she'll drive for me. So we go down the road and pull into the first dirt road. Park the car and flash the lights three times...nothing. We did this probably about 5 different times and different paths and nothing...the ghosts were not chilling in Pactolus.

The weird things though weren't really the light but a few other strange occurrences. The first was when we first turned down the road, Isley was driving and a HUGE bird flew out and just kept flapping its wings, hovering just facing the car. We screamed...a lot. After that point all three of us were in the front seat. Don't let the happy faces deceive you...we were on the verge of losing it.

Probably the weirdest thing that happened that night though was when we were actually trying to leave. The directions for the path had said that you pass a run down shack and some power lines...we remembered passing them a few times as we had gone back and forth across the road. However, on our last trip back, we couldn't find them. We looked everywhere for this little shack and it wasn't there anymore. Let's not forget that it was around 2 in the morning at this point and we could have been delirious but I promise that I looked at exactly where it was supposed to be and couldn't find it.

I'm marking this off the list because although we may not have found any was definitely a terrifying experience and we had more than a few strange things happen. we got home around 3 healthy and thankfully alive!

Five hours of ghost hunting, a million scary moments, an incredible memory.

Number 17 can now be marked off.....cue The Twilight Zone music

Monday, May 10, 2010

Number 13

Find and write to a pen pal...

Ok, so let me start off by saying that this one was a lot harder than one may think. When I first put it on the list I thought it'd be a fun easy one to mark off. Then, as I started thinking about it more I decided that I wanted it to be an international pen pal. So then it struck me that it wasn't as simple as just writing a letter to a person.

I started on this task probably about a week ago. I began by cruising around on the internet and googling every possible thing I could think of. Most of the sites just wanted you to e-mail with people across the world and I was not interested in that. The others wanted you to pay money and they would go through some long application process to match you with a perfectly compatible pen pal. So, I finally found one site and registered for it!

A few days later I went on it and you could search through countries and different ages to write to people. The only problem then was most people didn't put up their address. Alas, I found two people who had up their addresses and found a third to give me a mailing address.

Today I sat down and wrote the letters. The first one was to Mary. She lives in Greece. The second was to Alexandra and she lives in Russia. The third was to Sanjog and he lives in India.

I wrote them all letters and told them what I was doing and even gave the blog site address so they could come look at it. If any of you guys are reading this please leave a comment, that'd be awesome!

I went to the post office (because apparently for international mailing you have to do that...nobody tells me anything) and mailed them away.

Now, i'm crossing this off my list because in all honesty, I cannot control whether or not any of them write back. I would love for all of them to but it's out of my hands. I've done my part and just hope that I will hear back from them!

In other news...I know I hadn't updated in awhile but it's not because i've forgotten. I am working on quite a few of the other tasks doing research or taking steps to complete them! Don't give up because i'm really working to finish them all!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Number 21

...and so my summer begins!

Exams are done which is the best thing that has happened to me in a while. I'm stoked to be done with classes and get on with summer/the list.

First item crossed (ish?) off my list is "Be in a play." I am not gonna lie I kind of cheated on this one because I was cast before my summer officially started but oh well get over it. I am going to be juror 5 in 12 Angry Men! Rehearsals started this week and are going very well. I'd like to officially cross this off but won't until the play opens.
I also was cast in Harvey! Rehearsals for that go up once 12 is over, around the beginning of July. I feel like in theory I should get to cross off two items if i'm going to be in two plays but apparently that's not how it works...(says myself?)

Excited to be working on one of the bigger tasks and have plans to start on a few others soon.

Wish me luck and hope you're enjoying the first days of summer!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

(25) Days of Summer Explanation

For awhile now I've been contemplating what I was going to do this summer. My first year of college I felt like I grew up so much (not necessarily a bad thing) and fell into a routine of work and school so quickly. With this in mind, I decided that I wanted to do something a little different this summer than just continue on in a day-to-day routine. That is why I have created this blog. I thought up the idea a few weeks ago randomly and for some reason I haven't been able to get it out of my head. I decided to make a list of 25 things I wanted to get done this summer that would be fun, exciting, and spontaneous. My blog is a combination of (500) Days of Summer (hence the name), The Buried Life (except alone, in Greenville, and more PG-rated-ish? aka no playboy parties), and The Bucket List (without the whole dying part).

Some items on the list are going to be very easy to accomplish while others are going to take some planning and research. Who knows if I will get all of them done or not, and in reality that is not the point. The point of all of this is to set a map for this summer to memorable and exciting. I am going to do my best on getting every task done as best as I can. The blog is going to be updated anytime I have either crossed off one of the items or have made progress towards crossing one off. It is not, however, going to be used just to blabber on about my life.

Tuesday, May 4 2010 is my first day of summer and that is when this blog will officially begin. Hopefully, I will be able to start soon after and begin knocking things out. When able, I will take pictures of me accomplishing tasks, but if not you will just have to take my word for it.

I'm excited to start and hope I can stay motivated! Feel free to leave comments with any suggestions in regards to the tasks, or for encouragement!

Thanks guys!