Sam-a-rama!

"Say, does this look funny to you?"

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Real Sam Johnson Show

The Real Sam Johnson Show

Hey there, hi there, ho there. I imagine it’s a little strange to the regular blog readers to find someone else here. Kinda like finding someone else behind Johnny’s desk on the Tonight Show, Jay Leno notwithstanding.

My name is Philip, and I am a recovering comic-holic. Actually, that’s not true. I got it bad, probably always will. Which I guess is why Sam believes I make a good comics pimp.

I’ve been reading comics since about 1972, starting with The Legion of Super-Heroes and Jimmy Olsen. But what really helped is discovering Steranko’s History of comics, which I read in the third grade. READ it, not just look at the pictures. The blessing of this is that I became aware of the various “universes” of comics pretty early, understanding the contect of Captain America c. 1942. Sixty plus years later, that context has changed. Whether for the better or worse is a debate for another day.

There was a neighbor kid, Tony, whose mother was the librarian at the high school. One day over coffee, my mom lamented the fact that Tony I read comics all the time. Tony’s mom replied, “Hey, at least they’re reading.”

If Mom ever disapproved of my choice of reading material, I never heard about it. (Wait, there was that time when I was fifteen and she found... never mind.) But over they years I graduted to Hardy Boys and Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes. I was 13 when Star Wars came out, which opened the floodgates for all sorts of science fiction and fantasy, much of which I ate up with a spoon much like Captain Crunch.

But as one matures, one’s tastes become selective. I still read mindless garbage, but I also read more cerebral stuff from time to time. But that’s not the point.

I read.

Not because I have to, because I’m being graded on it. I read because I want to. Some might argue they just don’t have the time. To them I say “Poppycock.” If it’s something you want to do, you will find the time.

So what’s this got to do with comics? Very little, but every story has to start somewhere. Reading opens a door, not just to Narnia or Metropolis or Victorian London. But to history, and the Marx Brothers, and auto mechanics, and driver’s tests and all the other little things that make life worth living.

Somewhere in the grand equation of it all, you have to READ... SOMETHING. Whatever you are, whatvere you aspire to be, you’re going to have to read to get there. And not just know that m-o-o-n spells moon. You have to comprehend. You have to understand a bus schedule, understand the directions on a prescription, that sort of thing.

I don’t hold myself up as a hero because I read. I’m just one example where it started with comics.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Well, How Y'all Doin'?

First up, let's give it up for Pandora! I gotta say, I knew it was gonna be good, but not that good. I can't even get the photos to sit right in the dang thing. I guess I need a few more lessons in this. Anyway, I have a feeling things will only get better from there.

In the coming days, she'll have a partner coming in to clean up the dog and pony show that I try to do here. My good pal Philip Schweier from Comic Book Bin is also joining into the fray with some cool posts as well. That's right...we're really gonna talk about comics now. And, if you're never read Philip's stuff before, he's one of the best comics journalists around and I hope that you'll enjoy his work. He'll even make it easy forr you guys who've never read the stuff or put it down along time ago, only to find it on the movie screen.

I'd like to thank Pandora and Philip personally for coming aboard and helping me out on this. Like I said before, I don't want to let this thing sit here and I would honesdtly feel like crap if I just let it go, even only for a day. I want you all to enjoy coming here, knowing that there's daily content here and I do my best to give it to you as often as possible. So, in times like this, I'm glad to have freinds to come out and do their thing. I hope you give them as much a read as you've done with my ramblings over the years. Thanks again.

By the way, The RSJS is coming up on it's two year anniversary on June 29th and I'll be turning 39 on June 14th. My God...We're getting old, aren't we?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Riddles, Jokes and Silly Things...It's all Tomfoolery

Hello, my name is Pandora and I am a recovering televisionaholic. (everyone--hello Pandora) Sam has entrusted me to guest post while he is busy moving. I am not sure I can keep the same level of excellence which most readers of his blog have come to expect but I will give it a galliant effort. This blog entry is brought to you by...



In keeping with the theme of Sam's blog, I have decided that today's discussion will be Saturday morning television programs from the 1970's. One show in particular. One show that intrigued me with the depth of its wordplace, entertained me with hilarity, and yet, somehow, scared the bejeezes out of me. This show is the one and only....

Tomfoolery

How could anyone not be enamoured with a cartoon that featured characters such as Enthusiastic Elephant, Fastidious Fish, Outrageous Ostrich, Worrying Whizzing Wasp, Scroovy Snake, The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, Umbrageous Umbrella Maker, Tic-Tac-Toe Board, Mrs. Jaefer, Mr. and Mrs. Discobolus, The Table and the Chair, The Duck and the Kangaroo, Onomatopoeia, Purple Cow, and Goops. The theme song became an ear worm in my brain which I remember clearly word for word to this day. Just the mere fact that the show careened at a breakneck speed, which left little time to process what had just occurred before diving headfirst into something else, was unsettling enough. Then add to the mix strange little poems like every child's favorite, Jabberwocky. Man, if that didn't give a kid nightmares, nothing would. For some strange reason, the fish with feet bothered me as well.



Surprisingly there is very little information on the web concerning this cartoon. I think it would be an eye opener to watch this show as an adult since all our memories are quite cloudy but I have a feeling it would still creep me out. Alright, now that I have bared my soul and let the entire world know of my little obsession, it is your turn. Leave a comment and tell of your favorite Saturday morning televison program from your childhood. Please. I don't want to be alone right now...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Home Stretch

Well, I finally started to move from the old place to my new home. The elecetricity is finally on, and I'll have the cable turned on there either this week or next week. Which means that I'll be taking a break from the site for a while as I try to get settled in my new digs. This will be the first break I've have in a bit from this place. I feel kinda bad that I won't be here, but I remember when I was having lunch with Ivan a couple of weeks ago and he mentioned that working on a blog can sometimes feel like a job. There are folks who come here everyday and expect there to be something new here, so you have to satisfy. Well, I don't want to disapoint, so I 'll still do some audio posts, time allowed of course. But, I have someone that will be keeping an eye on the place. Good Friend Pandora will be the guest host for me while I'm away. Kinda like Letterman was for Carson. Actually, I haven't told her yet even though she volunteered a few days ago, I haven't told her yet, so she'll be as surprized as you are when she sees this. I'll try and have a couple of other friends drop by and leave a few things as well, so it won't be like you'll do without. As for me, I've got lots of Fung Shui to do. Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon. Have a great Memorial Day, y'all!


Wait...I knew that Spector picture looked familiar. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Phil "Spoonie Luv" Spector


C'mon...He created The Wall Of Sound! He produced "Be My Baby!" He put together The Ronnettes and helped The Shirelles! He worked with The Rightious Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, John Lennon and The Ramones! Look at this man! He couldn't be that crazy. He has an Afro! You can't be crazy and have an Afro! Right?

Thanks to Tom and Stephan for the pic. This is a classic.Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Comments, We Get Comments

I got a quick chance to read some of the comments in Haloscan, since I can't seem to pull 'em up from here. So I went directly from the Haloscan site. Plus, alot of folks donb't get to read them, so I figured I ashould share some with you. Really, I'm spent from ideas today. Here's a couple from previous posts...

"Fred" commented that "I believe that it was Art Linkletter that old Chismbop, not me.."

Well Fred, that was you selling it on TV in the seventies, along with riding buses across country. I'd rather do the Chismbop. You don't have to deal with weirdos. Then again, not many folks did the ol' Bop. Catch 22 right there. By the way, "Fred" never really left any other details about himself, other than an email from "Fred@deadvguys.com, which don't exist. Hey, "Fred"?Let a brother know who you are next time, really.

Next, we have Redneck Diva on my trip into country music and David Ball...

Agh, David Ball was at one of the casinos here awhile back. No one bought the tickets, even though they were only $10.25. So in an effort to draw a crowd, the casino offered anyone who bought a ticket $10 in free play, so essentially you could see the concert for a quarter. That would be a star's nightmare, wouldn't it? I didn't go to the concert, even for the free play, because I cannot stand his voice. I was afraid just being in the building while he was singing would cause me to fall to the ground holding my ears and scream "MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!" I wouldn't cross the street to piss on Mark Chestnut if he were on fire, either. We saw him in concert several years ago and he was a complete asshole to the crowd. I'll never waste money on him again. I guess I sound like a country music snob, don't I?"

You know, if a redneck diva tells you that a country artist is bad, you should pay attention to her.

And from Swan Shadow...

"Country? Country? SAM! COME BACK FROM THE DARK SIDE!"

All is well. I've come back unharmed. Although, I have a craving for a Moonpie and an RC cola.

Finally from the gang who haven't been around much...thanks for your comments. We've all been busy as of late. I plan on taking a week off from the site and looking for a guest blogger for that time. If there any takers out there, drop a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Idol, Smhidol

I haven't been feeling too well the past couple of days, but i just had to blurt out that I won't be watching Idol tonight. Why? Because the show sucks.

I won't be watching "Lost", either. I did't watch it in the beginning, so why start now? There's too much stuff going on there. Look out Turner Classic Movies. Here I come.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Another Voice Silenced


Thurl Ravenscroft, who was the voice of Tony the Tiger for many years has passed, according to Mark Evanier, who I'm now going to call "The Voice of Doom", so to speak. Every time I've gone to see what's happening in his world, he gives me the worse news. I love the guy, but it's kinda like getting the phone call at three in the morning that a freind has died. Which is about the time I've found out about Howard Morris and Henry Corden.


I so wanted to be those guys when I was a kid. So many different voices came out of those fellas. I was up Saturday mornings and watched those cartoons with a pleasure, and when they repeated them over and over, I began to listen intentlyand follwed along at the end of the credits to see who did what, although they never said who played exactly who. I think soon, we'll do our yearly poll of favorite SatAm shows. It's still fun to talk about and reminice over, escpecially now, with the passing of three great voice artists.

One more thing about Mr. Ravenscroft (what a cool name). Many of you may remember him for a little ditty called "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch". You'll find that and more on Thurl here.Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

Good Grief!

I grew up a big Peanuts fan as a kid. My favorite period was the mid sixies when they hit their peak, The Great Pumpkin, The Red Baron adventures, the Kite Eating tree was in bloom. I thought it was cool aseeing kids in their little world, with no adults around at all. So it my surprize, I go to Boing Boing and find this. Actual grown ups in a Peanuts strip. I don't think Joe Cool wanted them there, which is why they only showed up in rare, ealy occasions. It's still funny though to see Charles Schultz draw an adult. Check out the woman in the strip. She kinda looks like how Patty (not the Peppermint one) would look like if she got older.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Uncle Goopy!

God bless Mark Evanier. He's found the "This Is Your Life" sketch mentioned below. This really is the funniest thing I ever saw. If you're looking for a good Monday laugh, this is definitly the thing. It's in Real Player format, but it's worth it. Promise.

By the way, I'd also be remissed if I didn't mention that Henry Corden, the man who replaced Alan Reed as the voice of Fred Flintstone passed away last Thursday. And that Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson was just elected Mayor of Northridge, California. Really. Interesting days in the toon world.

Ernest T.'s Gone

Mark Evanier lets us know that actor/director Howard Morris has passed. You may recogizer the name as the guy who was Ernest T. Bass in only five episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, which is funny since it felt like he was there more than Floyd. I remember him as being the voice of many cartoons including Wade Duck from Garfield and Friends (which Mark wrote and voice directed for) and Jughead from the original Archies show from the sixites. But he was also a pioneer, as a player on the classic Your Show Of Shows. My favorite perfomance of his was Uncle Goopy in a spoof of This Is Your Life with Sid Ceaser and Carl Reiner. It's one of the greatest comedy sketches of all time and will still make you bust a gut everytime you see it. I tried that type of humor when working my old cable access show, Underground Savannah (more on that on a very later time. The "Wheel Of Fortune" story has made me up off telling tales after school for a bit.) Howard was a very talented man who wil be missed. Whenther you visited Mayberry or not.

Sundays with Sam

I've just updated my other web page with details on my kidney fundraiser and I can really use the help. Please pass along the word to your friends to stop by and take a gander. Of course, if you haven't donated, please put something in the bucket.

I also want to send a shout out to some folks I haven't heard from here in awhile. David, Monkey, Babs, Tom and Stephen...what's up? I miss you guys. Also, I gotta say hi to comic writer Tom Peyer, who's just written a new Bart Simpson comic (welcome back, Tom!) and Fred Hembeck, one of my favorite artists and one of funniest, in my opinion. Any guy who likes Bing Crosby these days and still admits it online gets a star in my book. Enjoy your Sunday, folks!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Pickin' and a Grinnin'

I just had the pleasure of going to my first country show today. Actually, as an employee of Cumulus Broadcasting, of which WEAS, the radio station I work for is an affiliate, and it's sister station WJCL is putting it on, I had no choice. I was told it was manditory for all employees to be there or be fired. Still, it was a pretty good time while I manned the soda stand withn other workers. Martina McBride and Lonestar were scheduled to play later, but I was there long enough to hear Marty Chestnut and David Ball. I think we can tell by now that I'm not a fan of the music much. but I thought that Chestnut did a great job and I caught myself tapping my feet from time to time. David Ball however didn't impress me one bit, doing an acoustic set and sounding a bit off key. I would have loved to have seen Lonestar, since their biggest hit "Amazed" is actually a favorite of mine, since it crossed over to top 40, but I had to leave since I've got things to do tonight. The funny thing is about the whole thing, later this summer, WEAS will host an outdoor concert called Jamfest, which looks to be big. I've heard rumors about who'll be at this show. I wonder if the same folks who were there at the country show will show up for Hip-Hop?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Sith-ing Thru The Theater

Beware of a possible spoiler here in this review of Star Wars Episode III- Revenge Of The Sith. However, if you've seen the first three films, then it doesn't spoil much now, does it?

Well, it's done. Anakin has succumbed to The Dark Side. Yoda has gone to the swamps of Dagoba. Luke has gone to his Uncle Ben. Everything is in it's place. What a ride.

I got there and waited for Jason around 11pm. I was surrounded by Nerds, Geeks and Fanboys. I still don't know where I fall in that category. Still, I felt at home with them. There were lots of folks who recognized me from The Comic Box and loads of "Sams" where yelled out. I felt like I had friends there and I needed them. This film takes alot out of you. If you know the story well, then you know how it turns out. But, just seeing it reminds me of the Zapuder films. You read how President Kennedy was killed, but with the films you see the tragedy unfold before your eyes.

I don't want to go into detail on what happens. I'll let you read the better reviews from Roger Ebert or Harry Knowles or any of the other millions of people who will tell you that George Lucas finally got it right, which in my view, he did. But, I'll say this much. When you watch with the audience, you will turn to the left or right of you and and see your fellow film goer in shock and awe. Men's jaws will drop. Women will weep. And in the end, they will cheer. George got it right...finally.

At one point in the film, Obi-wan looks at security tape to see how Anakin gave his vow to become a Dark Lord and Yoda warns him that even though you know it happened, you may not want to see it. I can telll you I felt just the same as Kenobi and I am as shocked as he was. Yet, I knew it was destiny. Or at least, in Lucas' outline. Coming out of the whole thing, I felt like I was a time traveller wanting to jump into the screen to tell young Skywalker, "Don't do it! The Empire is using you!" But, I had to let it all unfold, all for my pleasure. I sat there for two hours and thirty minutes and watch the Republic fall and the Empire rise. That's pretty sick, if you ask me, to just sit there and let it happen.

So, do I recomend this film? Yes, I do. Quite highly, in fact. I do warn you that this isn't for smaller childern. If you take one, though, you will have to do alot, and I mean, alot of explaing. It will warp a child's mind to see this film at a tender age. Wait until "Madagscar" is released and show them that. There's too much death and darkness in this film, which is what Lucas wanted. This is the deariest "Star Wars film ever. But, you knew it would come down to that, didn't you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ubernerd

I just found out that Kelsey Grammer will be in makeup to play The Beast. It makes you wonder what David Hyde-Pierce has planned these days.

I also found out that Frank Gorshin has passed. We all know what he was famous for. Although in my opinion, the man would have made a better Joker because of his intensity. In the comics, The Joker was a dark character, while The Riddler was very intellegent person, using mind twisting clues, of course. Those are my opinions, of course.

I am going to the Midnight premier of the new Star Wars flick tonight with pal Jason. This should be an event with Nerds, Geeks, and Fanboys finally coming out of hibernation and awakening for the summer. I'll take photos and have them up tomorrow.

Season Finale of Smallville
tonight, Pandora.

Finally, here's the rundown from the first meeting with me and Ivan. I'm gonna rest now from dialysis. Later.

FRAISER IS THE BEAST!

Oh my stars and garters! This has to be the coolest news of the day. Marvel has announced that none other than KELSEY GRAMMER will play The Beast in the next X-Men movie. If you've never read the comics or seen the Saturday morning show, he's this big, blue fuzzy,very smart mutant who looks like and intelligent Ralf the Dog. Well, he did until he mutated more and now looks like a big, blue, fuzzy, very smart leopard on two feet. It kinda makes sense...John Ratzenbeger was in The Incredibles, so it's only fair. I'll bet George Wendt wants to play Iron Man now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sam Plays "Wheel Of Fortune"-Last One...PROMISE!

I posted on the "Wheel Of Fortune" message board to get Harv's last name. Someone quietly said,"the guy your talking about is Harv Selsby". As soon as I read that, a flood of memories of him came back. I Googled his name and found out his Hollywood past. It turns out that Harv did a little acting before "Wheel", doing bit parts on "Chips" and "Star Trek" before becoming a "contestant wrangler". Since being on "Wheel", he's gone on to many other game shows and done the job. So Mr. Selsby, I thank you for giving me the chance to be on NBC and meeting Vanna White and I dedicate this whole chapter play to you, sir. Now, you have a new Google I hope you can brag on.

So, here we are. After all that hard work, me and the other Savannah State College team finally get on the show for College Week, only to see one player go to the nightime show, while the other two fail miserably after all the pactice they'd done. I felt bad for them after all the work they had done to get here, only to lose every round. Here I was, playing Billy Bob Badass and not practicing a bit. I was just basking in the glory of just being there in Hollywood. I couldn't let everyone down. I couldn't let myself down if I lost. I couldn't let my old man use me as an open target. I was gonna play and play hard. It's Hollywood, Jake. You gotta play by their rules.

When we were setting up for my taping, I was positioned as the first player, which meant I would would be next to Pat Sajak. I though that was so cool. I thought that my good attitude and witty remarks got me that close to the host. Soon, the countdown was on and in three, two, one it was time for..."WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!" The music swelled and announcer Jack Clark proclaimed, "It's College Week here on "Wheel Of Fortune! Look at this studio, filled with fabulous prizes!"

After talking about the cash and prizes, he introed Pat to the stage and applause went thru the set. Pat then brought out Vanna, who was looking smokin' hot that taping. Man, was I lucky to be alive that day. Now it was time to introduce today's players. I went first. "First up, we have Sam Johnson, a freshman student from Savannah State," goes Pat. "So Sam, what's your major?"

I perked right up and said, "I'm majoring in Mass Comminications, Pat."

"So, it says when you're not heading to class, you collect comic books, is that right?"

"Yeah, it's fun hobby. I've been doing it since I was a kid." I so wanted to give a shout out to my listerners on WSOK and my homies, but Pat moved on to the next person. I do know though that the third guy went to the University Of Utah and when he wasn't going to class, he had a music video show. I was pissed. I could have said I was a DJ with a hot show. That guy looked like a dork. I can't wait to move, so I can find those frickin' photos to show you guys.

After giving the rules, it was time to play the game. Since I won the toss, I got to go first. I spun.
200 dollars was up. I gave a letter. It was wrong. I was deflated. I thought I was going down. Soon, I thought I was gonna lose, because I was missing letter after letter. I couldn't belive it. I was gonna be like the rest of the guys. I was going back to Savannah as The King Of The Doofuses. Man, my old man was gonna kill me.

After that first round, I composed myself and took a deep breath. We were in a break and Pat was asking us how we felt and were we nervous, being the nicest host. Ever smiling, ever helpful. I wonder if he ever went off an anyone who was so dumb that they lost because they couldn't spell. I prayed he wouldn't grab a porcelin dalmation and beat me over the head with it.

We then came out of the break and it was the second round. The winner of the first round went first and failed. Then, the VJ spun and failed as well. It was my spin now. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and spun the wheel. It came up on 300 dollars.

"I'll take an 'R' please, Pat", I said in a shaky voice.

" We've got an 'R' up there, Sam!"

I saw Vanna turn the letter around and I was relieved. After the applause, I spun again. 2oo. I asked nervously, "Is there an 'L', Pat?

"We've got two 'L's up there, Sam! You've got 700 dollars, Sam! Keep on spinning!"

Holy shit, I was playing "Wheel Of Fortune"! I was doing great! Soon, I was buying vowels and watching letters turn and making money. When it was said and done, I had won two thousand, five hundren dollars to use on "the fabulous prizes" they had up. See, you kids don't know about that. Now, they just give you the chedder after you win the round and you can buy whatever you want. Nooo, you had to buy what they had on the stage and love it. So, I took the Sony waterproof boombox for 250, the Gucci gift certificate for 1,200 and put the rest on a Speigel gift certificate. I could have put down on a new Pontiac Fierenza when I got home, danggit! Still, I had done what the others didn't. I finally won one for the good old SSC Tigers. I did it.

After me and due to time, it was time for the final spin, which meant that whatever Pat spun would be the the amount we would get for each letter that we picked and landed on the board. It made it all the way to 3000 dollars. We were freakin' out on stage. The audience was freakin' out. Pat was freakin' out. I was sooo hoping for Vanna to fall out of her top. This was it. It was time to be the Man. We were told it was a phrase.

The VJ went first. He flunked. Silly VJ. Go back to Utah and intro a Cory Hart clip. It was my turn next. "P", I said. There was a "P". "S", I asked. There was a an "S". Holy crap. "Is there a "Z", I asked, looking at the blackboard they kept off camera, while a person marked off every letter used that round. "Sam, there are TWO "Z"s up there!", goes Pat and crowd went wild. The audience went wild. I had racked up 12,000 dollars! I was not only winning, I was raking in the big bucks! I could be the biggest winner on College Week! "Is there an 'N'?"

"Ohhh, sorry. There's no 'N', Sam"

Dammit, I almost said on the air. You could see the look on my face as I heard that. That's cool. I know I can still walk away the champ. It was the seond player's turn and they crapped out. Then it was the VJ's turn. "Is there an 'A', Pat?"

"Yes, there is! There's two of them!"

The VJ said, "I'd like to guess, Pat".

"Go right ahead."

" 'A slice of pizza', Pat."

"That's absolutly right! You got 6,000 dollars!"

WHATTHAWHOTHEFRICK? How'd that happen? He couldn't guess one stinkin' thing the whole time! Where did he come from!? That was mine, all mine! You fat geek! I had that sewed up and you took it from me! I oughtta come across that wheel and and beat your fat ass with a copy of the home game! Not only did he win the game after having the most amount, he got to go in to the bonus round. Good thing he lost that one and didn't get the car, or I would have waited for him outside NBC and wailed on him. However, I played good guy on daytime tv and smiled and shook his hand. Too bad the show wasn't on HBO or I'd have put him down with a knuckle sammich, 'cause no one's ammune from an ass whoopin'.

WHen that taping was over, everyone came down and was congratulating me. I did it. I did what I say I was gonna do the whole time. I was gonna play to win and I did it. Everyone surrounded
me and told me that they were proud of me and that I did a great job. Harv Selsby came over and told me I was fantastic and he wished that I could have gone on to the finals. He handed me some tax forms and I signed them, as this was earned propery in California and was taxable. I filled them out and savored my victory.

We stuck around to see the final round which had the three big winners of the week, including the VJ. He lost that one, too. The best one got all the way to bonus round and won the hot little red Fierenza they had on the stage. It wasn't me, but I was happy just to be a part of the whole thing. We all took photos and hugged. I got to shake Pat's hand and thanked him for the opportunity to be on the show. Oh, and I did hug Vanna. She felt good. Man, that was worth the trip. All the players went back to the hotel were they were staying and we partied the night away. We got drunk and talked about our time on the show. I got ripped and had a great time now that the pressure was off. I wound up at one point in the elevator with the big winner. We kinda started making out in our drunken state for a minute. Hey, she was hot, too. If I wasn't gonna get the car, I was gonna get the owner. That made up for the whole thing.

We got back to our host house and told them all how we had done and that the shows would run the same week, which was great. We could get back home and freshly tell about how the wholem thing was. We had to go back to the studio the next day however as they would be taping the nighttime shows and our boy Ronald was up for a separate game. Since it was the night show they asked us to dress up a bit, because it was classier that daytime and there was bigger cash and prizes up for grabs. Well, wouldn't you know it? The Savannah State steak struck again and poor ol' Ronald lost major. He looked like a goof in his too large suit and couldn't guess one letter right. He almost went into a tantrum whenever Pat told him he was wrong. The funny thing is, he was main one griping that I was never practicing and that I was ruining it for the team. They never really said a word to me after that. Just looking at me like I was a jerk for going. Oh, well. They always had Pac-Man.

We got back Savannah on Monday night tired from the whole thing. I took the day off from school and went back on Wednesday in the middle of the show's run. I told them that mine ran on Thursday and I didn't tell them how I did, but the others did, partially out of anger and rage. We had all gone to the WSAV on Tuesday to tape reminders on what day each of us had played on. Sarge had missed her time, but we all got together, put on fake smiles and said, "Watch us on 'Wheel Of Fortune"all week!" We said our goodbyes and went our seperate ways, only to see each other on the campus once in a while and wave a friendly hello and know that we four all had a common bond now. I was proud of that fact.

A few things as I wrap this up. I didn't really see that much of them after awhile. I went on to
my normal life of women, radio and college, in that order. Soon, I started to see less of them around. I wound up leaving the campus two years later after the money from my grants had run out and Dad wasn't gonna spend big bucks on me furthing my future. He had a business he had to run, and he wasn't gonna give me anything when he could teach me how fix a 23' Zenith floor model. I wound up working for him years later he talked me into coming into the fold after being between radio gigs. Before that, I wound up having to ask him to help me pay off the taxes on the prizes as well, which was 800 bucks. I wasn't making any in radio and I had a deadline to pay it off or I would never get to see any of my won swag. After that was taken care of, I tried my damnedest to pay it off, but he held on to it saying it was his, since he took care of the taxes. That fat ass took my hard earned stuff and laughed all the way. I never saw the any of it. I'm glad he's locked away now, the thief. Well, I did get the waterproof boombox and all the commercial consideration stuff the show's sponser sent. To this day, I still refuse to drink Sunny D.

Oh, and before I got to work for the old man, I had to do something to make some money. I wound up getting a job at Godfather's Pizza. That darn phrase was gonna haunt me for the rest of my everlivin' days.

FINIS.

Finish It, Fool!

I know that's what your sayin' right now. I feel ya. But, I gotta let you know what's goin' on NOW.

I had lunch earlier with Ivan today, and let me tell you, I had a great time. I was actually comfotable around the guy, even though we had never met personally. Thanks to blogs, you get a feeling for the person writing it. He's a a friendly guy on the web, so it was no problem I.R.L. to sit and chat with him. Although, I have to admit I kinda dominated the whole thing, just yammering away at stuff. I think that might be because I don't really get to talk to any one in or out of public about stuff lately. It was fun to talk about Old Time Radio and TV shows and why we do blogs and growing up. It turns out we have a few things in common, which was fun. Plus, I think we gave our waiter Steven from Ruby Tuesday's hell just for asking if we wanted desert. I had a great time and I hope that Ivan and I become good friends in the long run. Thank you, Mr. Schreve for takingthe time out to break bread with me and letting me yammer on so much. LONG LIVE THE LEAGUE!

After lunch, I stopped at Media Play to pick up the DVD of "TEAM AMERICA", which just came out today and a disc of Johnny Carson's older shows, including "Who Do You Trust" and the orginal "Johnny Carson Show" from the fifites. It was only 8.99 at the store, but your price will vary. Still, if your a Carson completist, you may want to pick them up, as it shows Johnny at the beginning, before NBC and all the divorces. I always pick up good swag at Media Play.

One more thing...
I GOT MY NEW HOUSE KEY.

I went to my new place today to pay the deposit and talked to the owner. She's a very nice lady, who looks nice, so that's a good thing. She's a business woman and very smart, so that's nice too. I got to go take one last look inside the place before I clutter it up with stuff and I gotta tell ya,
this soooo rocks. One thing I asked her about was the attic and was there storage room there. She told me that for a two story garage apatment, I had loads of room, even in the attic. She told me when I'm ready to put a ceiling fan and more lights up there, that could be ANOTHER ROOM unto itself! I HAVE A THREE ROOM, ONE BATH ALL TO MYSELF! THANK YOU, JESUS! I'm not even gonna tell ya how much it costs a month, because if I did, you would come down to Savannah, club me across the head and take it from me! Baby, I'm Livin' Single like Queen Latifa and Tootie! No roomies, no bad parking, no noise after I get done with dialysis,
no dumb nothin'. When I get settled there this June, God willin' and the creek don't rise, y'all gonna see a new Sam. A relaxed Sam. A happy Sam. This is what America is all about.

AMERICA! F*** Yeah!

Oh,yeah...I'll have the ending of my "Wheel" saga up later this evening. I'm gonna go watch some Carson now, though.

How Do You Keep A Reader In Suspense?

It looks as though the wrap up to our little adventure will have to wait until Tuesday night. I was actually hoping to finish it up on Sunday, but there were so many details. I'd been debating on talking about this since I started the blog. Before that, I sort of envisioned a sort of screenplay for it, making it hyper-realistic. Sort of an "Antwon Fisher" meets "Revenge Of The Nerds" kinda flick. A wild, 80's style kind of comedy. Who knows? One day, maybe I'll actually sit down and work on it when I have the time. After all, it's funny 'cause it's true.


Tuesday is busy gay for me, though. I get to put the deposit down on my new place. MY NEW PLACE! NO ONE ELSE! I'm so freakin' happy! Plus, there will be the first meeting of The League Of Savannah Bloggers! Actually, Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear's Ivan G. Schreve, Jr. are meeting for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's, where we'll be discussing blogs, old tv shows, and why "Suspense"was the coolest radio show ever. ALL HAIL THE LEAGUE!

As for "Wheel", it will end. I hope you'll like it. Thanks to everyone who've been reading so far and enjoyed it. The reason most folks do blogs is to tell their story. That's just one of them. In the words of the great Jimmy Durante, "I gotta million of 'em."

He also said "Good night, Mrs. Calabash. Wherever you are". And that's my cue to go to bed.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sam Plays Wheel Of Fortune-The Third Part

I'm sitting here at WEAS doing my Sunday show while I'm working on this, what I hope will end the "Wheel" trilogy. I don't go back and re-read a post after I send it to the web, but I had to go back and check out what I done twenty years ago. It looks like I some kind of knack of landing into things that are just too ridiculous for some. I like to call it a "weirdness magnet". Somehow he or she is either blessed or cursed with an aura that attracts things to them. Now, I'm not saying that being on a game show was a bad thing, far from it. It just blows my mind that I got that far.

In October of 1985, Me and my fellow players of Savannah State College were ready to head to California after the student allumni offered to cover for the trip. We were excited to go to NBC Studios in Burbank to play and hopefully, win. But, while the rest of the team practiced by reading dictionaries and following the show the lowest alphabet (L,N,R,S,T and any vowel are the letters you want to use the most), I ekpt up with my own life and figured if I win, I win. If I lose, well at least I got a trip to L.A. out of the deal that I didn't have to pay for.

One of the student advisors from the college, Mrs. Roberts drove us down to Jacksonville instead of us flying out of Savannah, since it was cheaper to leave from there. We left Georgia around 1:30 am and got to J-ville 90 minutes later. We had to leave realy since our flight would be all day with layovers in Atlanta, D.C. and Kansas City before becoming non stop. Honestly, other than Atlanta, I had never been in any oter places before, so it was a thrill for me to get the change to travel across the country like that. Even if I never got the be on the show, the chance to fly over the Grand Canyons and to see some the sites I did while in the air was worth it.

We finally arrived at LAX around 4pm central time on Friday. Our body clocks were off since we were four hours behind our normal time, but the excitement kept us going for the most part. We were met at teh airport by the allumni who would be putting us up for weekend while we taped that Saturday. They were a nice family who lived in Inglewood, and were our best supporters. After driving through the legendery L.A. afternoon traffic for almost an hour, we stopped to get something to eat and chatted about our trip. When asked did we study for our big day tomorrow, the rest of the gang said they were readty to go and started to roll of names, phrases and whatnot. I sat there and finished my Bob's Big Boy Burger, enjoying California food.

One of the allumni asked me privatly once we got to their home how come I wasn't practicing with the others. I told him simply that I was a nerd. I really never felt comfortable around them and thought that it would be better for everyone if I just stayed to myself. I'll support them 100%, but I needed to be on my own. I'm a rebel like that.

After a good night's sleep, I prepared for the journey to NBC watching Marie, Ronald and Sarge tossing around more words to each other. I had my coffee and started to play mental hangman, just filling in the blanks to stupid things silently, like T_E F_CTS _F L_FE, R_CK SP_RNF_ELD and other dumb things. I actually almost changed my mind about going to tape the show when I found out that the band Fishbone was going to playng a free show at the same time at the Universal Ampitheater that day. Even though I was kidding, none of them knew about who or what I was talking about. You probably don't, either.

We drove from Inglewood into downtown L.A., checking out some of the historic sites along the way. The L.A. Forum, the Capitol Records buliding, Pink's Hot Dogs, the LaBrea Tar Pits. Suddenly we pulled up into NBC Studios in Beautiful Downtown Burbank. I had seen this place so much on television and now I was finally here. Nineteen years of wishing and hoping finally got me here. I finally made it to the wonderful Land Of Oz.

We were given a quick tour of the studio before we got to the Wheel Of Fortune set. One thing that stood out for me was that the Wheel set has right across from the Tonight Show stage. I looked up mand saw Johnny Carson's face smiling down upon me, almost giving me approval for everything I had done to get to this point, almost like when a young comic got to sit on the couch after their first appearance. In Johnny's eyes, you were hot and going places. You done good, kid. Keep it up.

We then caught up with Harv, the show's producer who coordinated for all of us to be there that day. We were taken to the green room and met up with the other college students who we'd be up against. We were the only Black college to participate in the game, while the other were from the University Of Pennsylania, University Of Utah and one other that escapes me now. They were just like us, kids on college sweats who were just as nervous as we were to be on big time tv. We were made up and after a few intros and some photo ops, we finally walked into the Wheel studio. It was just as loud as it was on the screen. Bright colors, flashing lights, cameras all over the place and of course, the wheel and it's partner in crime, the letter board. It was larger than life just looking at them.

We were then introduced to the show's announcer, Jack Clark. Jack was a former game show host himself, as his claim to fame was "Crosswits". He was a very friendly guy and told us not to be nervous at all. After all, it's just a tv show. Easy for him to say. He'd been doing it since the fifties.

Then came Sajak. I gotta be honest. He looked taller on the screen. He was a pretty nice guy, though. He asked us all where we were from and had comments for everyone. When he asked me what I did while I when to school, I told him I was a DJ at a radio station. Pat thought that was pretty cool since he was one himself. However, Harv nthought it was a good idea that I didn't mention it. Folks would want to know that since it was College Week, I should look like a studious person with no outside activities.

Soon, all heads turned as Vanna White entered the stage. She was every bit as hot as live as she was on screen. Nice legs, great smile...I'm trying not to be a pig about it, but c'mon. She was in Playboy, for the love of God. How many ordinary guys get to be around a woman who was naked in a magazine? My eyes almost fell out of my head, while the other guys were just in awe as well. Man, what a honey.

It was time then to play the game. Of the four teams, three would spin each taping, as we knocked out the week of shows in one taping day. We got to spin the wheel for practice and to also see which three would go first. However, Ronald would wind up not playing during the tapings, as he came up with the lowest spin. He would wind up on the nighttime version of the show. That was funny to me. He didn't even deserve to be on NBC and would now have to go on against Entertainment Tonight.

The first up on our team was Marie. Like I said before, Marie was a hot chick, but her spins meant nothing. I watched in the studio audience aqnd rooter for her, but it was to no avail. Marie lost everytime and always picked the wrong letter. I felt bad, but I still had hope in Sarge. That however was bunk. Sarge wound up flopping, too. She couldn't hold her own against the
other guys, as they were spelling around her head like bees. She couldn't take it. This was it, I thought. We are so doomed.

Savannah State got to take a break and the next show was taped without us and I would go on Thursday's show. Each show is done in real time, with thirty to forty minutes to set up fo rthe next taping. After the third show was done, everyone got to take a lunch break for ninety minutes to relax and get their thoughts together. We all were taken to lunch at the infamous NBC commisary, where we were fed a very wonderful meal of lamb, potatoes, aparagus and chocolate cake for dessert. Not bad for all the jokes I've heard about the place. After, we went back to the studio where we waited for the crew to get ready for the next taping. Vanna came out for awhile to see how things were going and man was it good to see her. She came out in a big, Hollywood robe and not alot on under it, it seemed. She had in her hand a caraffe a of white wine andwas headed back to her dressing room. Of course, the guys from all the teams had to run down and say hi to her. I kinda stood back while everyone was drooling, since I was trying to be cool about the whole thing. But, you couldn't help it. To be in a room with that kinda beauty was hard as hell. I had to keep my composure. I was up next. If I was to screw up like the others and not even win a round, there would be no living it down from my friends, my job, my family, or worse... My dad. He would haunt me for the rest of my days if I came home a loser and ruin the Johnson name. It's not like he didn't do it already with the crap he's ever done in his life, but me going on national television and not being able to spell a simple word? It would be that bum giving me a worse abuse than he had ever done, psychically or emotionally. He would heckle me for the rest of my life. I was not going to turn out like the losers I came with.

I was not going to go home with just Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat.

I guess I do have one more chapter to go, huh?

Next Time: The game is played and there is an outcome.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Mr. Blabbermouth

I've turned into someone who must think they're a writer now. My posts are getting longer and longer now. I don't mean for them to come out that way, but lately I guess I've had alot to say and no one I.R.L. to say it to. I'll take a break from the long stuff after this weekend, but I will be continuing my adventures of Wheel of Fortune and the last chapter should be up by Sunday night. I also plan on redoing the template here as well, so expect a change here, gang.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sam Plays "Wheel Of Fortune"-Part the Second

While I'm writing this, I'm listening to Michael Jackson's song, "Remember The Time". Say what
you will about the guy and alot's been said, that is one of my favorite songs. The video's not bad, either. But the song takes me back to when I was younger, happier. I didn't have a care in the world, because I wanted to live out my dreams. There was so much I wanted to do in 1985. I wanted to be a celebrity. I wanted fame and fortune, the works. The thing I didn't realize is I had to work and fight to get it.

Here we are it's mid September, 1985 and I've been chosen to play on NBC's Wheel Of Fortune. I couldn't believe that I was going to California. I had never gone as far as Michigan and now I was going way across the country to be on tv. I was stoked. I was going with what I thought was a crack team of players who knew the game and was smart, good looking and could hold their own against any college. Boy, was I wrong.

There were three other folks on the Savannah State College Wheel team. There was Marie, who was what we called an "around the way girl". She was from thre neighborhood. A cute little honey who would have chucked it all if the right guy came along and he was loaded. Then, there was the girl I called Sarge. She was a sargent in the college ROTC unit. A pretty tough chick, who was a hell of a lot more tough than pretty. And, there was Ronald. Oh, he was a gem. Effeminate as Marie. It was still kinda hush-hush about being gay and he was telling everyone with a stage whisper. This was a ragtag a team as the Dirty Dozen. I couldn't believe I was going to L.A. with these guys. They'll never let us on the set. Still, I had to get this team together, so I became unofficially team captain. We needed to get on that show and we needed to win. We also needed the money to get there.

I was told by "Wheel" producer Harv that the colleges pay for their students to fly and stay in L.A. for the shows and that I should talk to someone there about helping us out. I went to everyone on the campus to see about getting funding for our trip, since we were playing for the school. No luck, though. The school wasn't going to win the prizes, so why shouls they pay for us to go, weven though we're playing in their name? Man, was I pissed off when I finally got to the dean and he told me that. There was no way they would deny me my right to fame. I was gettin' to California, one way or the other.

We had hot dog sales, car washes, but it still wasn't enough money for the four of us to take a Greyhound. So, I decided to talk to the college alumni, whom many of them were loaded and many of them lived in L.A. . It also helped that Homecoming was happening and I had a 50-50 shot. Thank God for a good aim, because when I told them what was going on and how the school wasn't going to gelp out, they gave us the works. We got air tickets, we were told that we'd stay at an alumni's home that weekend, and they would even give us two hundred dollars apiece in spending cash while we were there. Freakin' sweet!

Now mind you, the stuff I learned then about fundraising then and the fundraising I'm trying to do now are kinda different. I wish they were around now since I'm trying to get the money to cover that kidney transplant. I'm humbled now when I ask for help, but back then I was hustling to get paid and had no remorse on how to do it. When the dean found out what had happened and the alumni heads tore him a new one, I was then looked upon at the school as a troublemaker. How dare this punk go over our heads on this and make us look bad. Well, I was playing under your name. Don't make me go on daytime tv and say "a mind is a terrible thing to waste" sounding like Mortimner Snerd when describing your college.

My dad thought the whole thing was stupid, but he loved anything that made him look good. He was always bragging to folks that his son was a great singer and was in radio. Now his boy was going to be on tv. He never really gave me any praise to my face, but he sure talked about me to everyone in earshot. Anything that made him look good was wonderful in his eyes. I swear, the man was almost Col. Parker, Rev. Ike and a pimp rolled into one. He couldn't wait until I came back a champ so he could get a piece of the pie. As long as he could say that his boy went to California and brought home lots of money was perfect for him.

While the rest of the team practiced playing while watching the game, I did nothing. I know what you're thinking. "Here you are the team captain. Would it have killed you to sit down with them and watched the show?" Like I said before, I never watched the show. I only saw bits and pieces and what I saw was boring. I wanted to be challenged and this was so easy to me. The rest of the gang watched the show religiously, day and night. All I needed to know was Pat Sajak was in 'Nam, Vanna was hot, Merv Griffin created the show and I was gonna be on it. I spent my time hanging out withte gang and doing my little weekend show on the radio. I figured "why practice"? You don't practice when play Monopoly, so what's so different? They hated me for that and mumbled under their breaths that I would screw them up because I wasn't studying the dictionary like they were. I didn't have time for that. I had a life.

I was interviewed by the campus newspaper about the journey and the game. I told them I was going to come back a winner and I wasn't going come back with a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Fransico Treat. I would come home with something and show the other guys that can hold my own. I was THE CHILD OF TELEVISION. I'll show those who laughed at me. I was gonna be the greatest man alive.

Next Time: Sam meets Vanna and plays the game.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sam Plays "Wheel Of Fortune"-Part Uno

For the record, I hated "Wheel" growing up. All it was was "Hangman" with ceramic dalmations as a prize. I never wanted to win that stuff. I wanted to win cash. Cars. Carol Merrill. Those are the things I wanted. I thought spinning a roulete was a stupid idea. The game shows I grew up watching were cool. "To Tell The Truth", "Match Game", "Password","Spilt Second". Don't let me bring up anything Chuck Barris ever did. "Wheel" was just boring to me. I was a "Let's Make A Deal" kinda guy. So, when it came down to me playing "Wheel", I thought to myself the whole time that I'd rather be on "Treasure Hunt".

Some of the names I won't remember in this recountance, as it's been almost twenty years ago that I went to Burbank. I do have a few photos that I'll hopefully scan in soon. However, for time sake and to get the story told, I'm gonna have to change a name or two. The whole thing went by so fast anyway, I still don't believe I made it all the way to network television. But, I did.

It's September, 1985. I just got my first real job as a DJ, doing weekends at WSOK-AM here in Savannah, Georgia. I had also started college at Savannah State, majoring in Mass Communications. I just started to see my ex-wife, then fling Jan. My old man hated the whole thing, because I was becoming my own man and wouldn't take over the television repair shop. Things were looking ok for me. I wasn't making any money being an announcer, but I was enjoying freedom I never had before and loving life the first time since Mama passed away. My hair was spiked after years of wearing Jheri Curls, looking almost like Simon's now on "American Idol". I think I was even wearing the same clothes he wears now. 180 pounds, denim head to toe, with my collar flipped up, sporting the black boots. Damn, I was wearing the same things then as I do now, only less hair. Still,I stood out from everyone that went to a predominatly Black collegeat that time. I was an OUTSIDER and I loved it.

My friends were the typical guy friends you have in college. James was a nerd from ther get go. He walked with a glide and was called Spaceman in high school. He read about as many comics as I did. His glasses could reheat the sun if it ever went out. He always acted smarter than you, because he came from a smart family. How the hell they let him in to that family, I still have no clue, since we all thought he was a test tube baby.

Darren was a player from the word go. All the way back in elementary school, he was mackin' around the ladies. He was a hustler and did his best to get paid by any means nessesarry, legally of course. He was part of a local rap trio called Candylove that did loads of shows here and that made him a star. How the three of us became pals: The Wild Child, The Geek and The Lover, was amazing. And, we were going to college.

So here we are at Savannah State, walking to the student union, when we saw a sign on the door."Wheel Of Fortune is coming to Savannah looking for contestants! If you can spin, you can spell, you can play! Audition here this Tuesday at 10am." We saw it and thought it was hilarious, until it hit us. This is Hollywood. If we get on that show, it could lead to bigger things. Chicks, cash, chicks. We decided that the three of us would try out for the show. I mean, it wouldn't hurt.

So Tuesday comes around. I get to the audition and it's filled with folks trying to get on the show. Everybody seems to have the same idea I had the day before. All but James and Darren. They never showed up. I wound up alone in a room full of Wheel Watchers. I never even watched the show when Chuck Woolery hosted, and now they had some new guy named Sajak running things, and some hot blond named Vanna turning the letters now. What the hell was I doin' here?

The guy running the audition was named Harv. He handled prodution of the show and took care of the players. He had producer all over him. He talked fast, looked slick and he was tanned from head to foot. He coordinated the whole deal, getting folks to fill out applications, while his assistant took the papers. We all had to then do a quick test where we filled in the blanks on words and phrases. Only the fastest ones would then go on to the next round. There were ten of these things and we had only five minutes. I had mine done in two and a half. It was just stuf like" S_AR S_ANGL_ _ B_ NNER", "B_ RT RE_NO_DS" and stuff like that. A breeze to a guy like me.

I was then called up to the table and asked a few questions about myself. I told them I was a DJ and collected comic books. When they asked if I had ever seen the show before, I told them the truth. I had seen bits and pieces of it, but never really watched the whole thing. They were kinda taken back as I had upset the way of things. Folks who were trying out had probably watched it forever and this punk was coming in here to ruin it for them. This was their dream and I was stomping on it with spiked heels. Punk kid.

I then played the practice round, where I was up against two other folks, just like the show, but
Harv played the M.C. . There was a minature wheel to spin and a chalk board made up to look like the Big Board on the show. We went through a few rounds and I realized that I knew how to play this thing, as I was winning. I guess the ham in me came out that I started showing off and I wound up walking away the Top Guy of the game. When it was said and done, the two other guys had jack and I was the champion. Harv took my number and said I could be getting a call in a few days to come out to Hollywood. Sure, I thought. Let me know. Have your people call my people.

A week later, my dad tell me that someone named Harv was looking for me. The first thing he thought was that I had ratted him out to the F.B.I. about something he must have done, but I toldc him what was going on. His first reaction? "That damnned boy done gone too far. Radio, television. Who do think you are, boy? Do you think I'm gonna be your agent now?" After listening to him whine for a bit, I got the number and called NBC Studios in Beautiful Downtown Burbank where the show was shot. I got to Harv and he told me that I would be on the daytime show during College Week with other Savannah State students and other collegiates from across the country. We would have to raise our own funds getting there however, as NBC doesn't foot the bill on flight and hotel stay. He gave me the name of the other teammates and told me that he would be calling them later in the day, but he wanted to let me know first. After saying goodbyes, I put the phone down and started doing my little Sammy Dance. I was going to be going to Hollywood! I was going to be on NBC! I was going to have some fun! I was excited!

The first thing the old man said as soon as I took a deep breath and let it sink in was, "So, who the hell's gonna pay for that long distance call? You better come home with something so you can pay for that s**." I wish he was my agent. I'd fire his fat ass on the spot and he's never work in this town again.

Next Time: Sam meets the team and realizes he's screwed.

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Some Decisions

I have to call a Real Estate salesmen today. Actually, two. One, because I may not be able to get the place I want due to having to cover for bills AGAIN (Thank you, roomies. May you get everything...), and two, another would like to do a fund raiser. Interesting...I'll get back to you on that.

I was thinking of a couple of things for the site and I need your imput. I'm thinking on taking on more advertising here, ala Google. I originally had the Radio Spirits and the Amazon link here, hoping that folks would check it out, and I could get some extra money somehow for the fund, but no luck. So, should I add more? And if I do, what are the good ones that should go here that work well and don't conflict with coming here? Please let me know soon, will ya?

Also, since it's Sweeps month, I've decided to tell a story I've held back on for some time. It's pretty long and will be broken down in chapters. I've held off on it, but I couldn't really come up with anything lately, so it came down to the trump card. So, if dialysis goes well today, tonight you will see the first chapter of...

"Sam Plays 'Wheel Of Fourtune'"!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I Gotta Pitch For Ya...

Well, time to talk about fundraising. We were actually going to have a dance this weekend, but it's been postponed due to thwe posters any flyers weren't ready yet. I hope we'll have those up soon, as we have a deadline now, according to the Georgia Transplant Foundation to raise up to ten thousand dollars for the Access To Care Matching Funds Program, which is June twenty-first. Great...More pressure.

We still however have tickets to sell for the Savannah Sand Gnats game on June fourteenth. Honestly, I think Tina has sold alot, while I have only sold at least four. Most of the folks are saying that they want to wait until it's closer near the date. You can use those tickets anytime however, and go see any game this season, if you wish. And we're still selling them online here (Thank you, ]. You've bought two of the four I've sold so far.) So, if you'd like to buy a pair or ten, drop me an email letting me know before June fifth, so I can get them to you in time to comem out and watch me try and throw a ball. Remember, half the profits of the tickets, which is only six bucks, go to the kidney fund. Or just as well, please go the NTAF site and drop off a donation in my name. Every bit helps and I thank you in advance. I need to go practice my slider pitch now.

Use The Farm, Cuke!

As we get closer and closer to George Lucas' newest independent film, the hype for if grows bigger and bigger. I have actually decided to check it out the night of the premiere, next week Thursday at midnight. I know I'll be surrounded by fanboys, but I figured it's the only way to see it and truly enjoy it. Yes, I'll have a review up later that night. Until I can be fully satisfied, check out this parody, especially those vegetable growers out there. I need to mention their Darth Tater isn't as scary as this Darth Tater.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

"M" Is For The Many Things She Gave Me

My mother's name was Sara Elizabeth Gordon. She was born here in Savannah, Georgia on October 18th, 1932, the oldest girl of the Jackson family. She had tough life as she grew up, but found happiness in her first husband, Willliam Gordon and the children they had together. He had a cab company and she even drove on occasion, to make sure that their family would survive. That would not last, as William passed away from lupus in 1963. Soon, Sara would have to take of the family herself and that's what she did.

Sara would do her best to take of a brood of children: her own seven and three from William's first marrige, which meant that ten heads of kids needed to be clothed and fed. Soon, after awhile I and my brother Martin was born. But no matter what, Sara did what she had to do. She worked at the local restaurant, took up a nurse's assistance duty, and still had time to play the hell out of a piano at our church, all while putting up with bums trying to upset her role as THE BOSS. She didn't need a man to take of her. Her second husband, William Thompson, was over 65 years old when she met him, and although he said he could solve may problems, he also has many excuses. The marrige ended in 1980. Let's not even get into my father, who was loud and abusive and care for more women than he cared for Sara.

Sara-mo, as we nicknamed her, had one rule for making it though life. Do what you can 'til you get what you want. We lived by that rule forever. We never had anything new, except clothes. It was hand-me-down furniture, cars, whatever and we made the best of it until it wore out. We lived on a budget, but we were always fed and kept on the straight and narrow on her watch, doing her best to make sure that we repected everything and everyone that came our way, no matter what.

We lost Sara after a battle with cancer on October 25, 1982, just a week after her fiftieth birthday. When they held her funeral, the church was packed to the rafters to send her home. I never attened.

Years before, I talked to Mom about death and dying after a relative had passed on. I told her if I were to ever die to please don't go to my funeral, I thought that a parent should never see their child that way. Sara told me that she'd do it on the condition that I don't go to hers and I should remember her that way she was and cherish her memories. Two years later, I went to funeral home and saw what was the shell of former life for at least 10 seconds and walked away, holding on to our promise and keeping her alive in my thoughts and dreams.

The only photo I have of my mama is her driver's licence that I only spirited away from my brother Anthony, who along with the rest of the family, has dozens of pictures of her, after years of asking them to let me have at least something that I could remember by. It is now the most precious thing I have. I keep it in my wallet and look at it everyday to see that smile of hers. That woman was the anchor that kept held me down without going astray for sixteen years. Anyone else who would try to have me raised any other way would learn different. There was no one like Sara in my life since.

If your mama's still here, or if she isn't, wish her a happy Mother's Day and tell her thank you for all she's done. You wouldn't be ther person you are today without her.

Miss you, Sara-mo.

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Free Comic Book Day 2005

As a public service, I'd like to remind you that Saturday is Free Comic Book Day. Most of you will just grunt and move on, but this is important to me and the comics industry. We want kids to come back from the video games, and start reading again. So, here's an idea for the parents out there: Spend some time with your kids tomorrow. Go to your local comics shop with them and go get a free comic book. It just might surprize you and you'll haved fun, along with your kids.

I promise that they won't become nerds, geeks or fanboys.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinco De' Mayo!

Yo, ese! I finally got that eight hours of sleep and I feel smashing! I can finally take on the world like I should. Too bad it's a 90% chance of showers all day here in Savannah. Oh well, at least I got that sleep.

Since I'm home, may as well surf the web. So, via Mark, who's mom I hope feels much better, let's take some Beatles lyrics, mix in some Desi Arnez, add a dash of Trek, pour into a Flash machine and crank it up tp frappe'. When it'd done, you've got the greatest video since "We are The World". "Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds". All Hail Shatner!

I'm Sleepy Now

I'm about to get the first night on rest I've had in days. I rembered that I still had a prescription for a drug called Seroquel, that I had taken a couple of months ago to relax me. So, I picked up a small dose and now, I think I'm finally going to get some sleep. I don't want you to think that I'm a pill popper or anything. But, if I don't get any sleep things could get worse and it's been a long time since I've slept. Anyway, I'm off to Slumberland finally. I'll talk to you when I'm awake.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

American Idol Idiot

The hype is all over and the" expose' " ABC News promised about exposing American Idol is now said and done and you know what? WHOOP-DEE-DIDDLLY-DOO! I don't watch the show anyway. Okay, I'm lying, like most other Americans. I watch the auditions so I can have a laugh or two. After that, I could really care less who wins or loses. I just want to see some bad singing. You know you do, too.

So what happens now? Well, ABC gets ratings for what turns out is a somewhat overlong "Primetime Live" piece, Paula Abdul's playing Mrs. Robinson while Seacrest can't even get spooned by William Hung, and Cory Whatshisname will go on to hit his sister again for possibly being more talented while he sells at least seven copies of his short story. The album, of course, will flop. If Paula does leave the show because of this or not, it won't really matter. People didn't listen to her when she sold records, who's actually listening to her when it comes to voting for a singer?

I think I can finally sleep now that this nightmare is over.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I'm Still Awake

I have been up for quite awhile now. Wel, it's more like I'll finally fall asleep, only to wake up thrity minutes later and be awake for hours. I shouldn't even be posting, but I wanted to let you know I'm okay so far, just very tired. Three things before I split...

The medicine I took for my anxiety is Lorazapam. One of the side effects is insomnia. No more of that.

Do you miss video games like Altered Beast? Dig Dug? Double Dragon? Here's a place that has almost Every Video Game for the Game Boy, NES, Sega Master System, even ol' school arcade that you can play on your computer! (If you have Java) CWCD (Credit Where Credit's Due)

Pandora's celebrating three years on her blog. YAY!

I'm gonna try to fall asleep again...

Julia Roberts should have waited to get the rights to this...


I'm not sure if it's irony that I'm posting this right above the last story, but it had to go somewhere and I gotta talk about it because, one: you can't make this stuff up; and two, it happened in Georgia. Yes, we are that stupid. After all, CNN started here.

The whole "Runaway Bride" thing was a sad, ridiculous tale that should have never happened. Couldn't Jennifer Wilbanks just tell her fiancee she didn't wanna jump the broom? She goes and runs off, freaking everyone in Duluth, Georgia and the U.S.ofA. out of their gourd. If she didn't want to get married, then she should have just given the guy a Dear John letter. You want to know the sad part of it all? The dumb scmhuck of a groom is saying that he'd still marry her. Dude, don't you get it? Walk away now! She'll do it again! Okay, maybe it could have been because 500 people would have showed up at the wedding, which would have meant nobody would have been monitoring the 9-11 lines or running the Slurpie pump at the 7-11, but come on! What makes you think she'll be there for the honeymoon? If she's dumb enough to give up a $250 ice bucket as a wedding gift, then good for her. I say let's put this sad tale behind us, America and get back to more simpler things. Like Star Wars...

Just to let you know, I haven't slept in two days due to a bad side affect of new medicine I've been taking for anxiety. Needless to say, I won't be taking that drug again, as tend to go off on rants as well, it seems. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005

How To Keep Your Husband Happy

I'm sitting here at the radio staion doing my show and trying to think of a good response to Pandora's Point System for Husbands. I sat there for what felt like hours trying to come up with something that will counter her little quiz. After a while, I had an major epithany.

WE CAN'T WIN, GUYS.

Lord knows I tried to come up with something that would cancel out the whole thing, but it all came back to one simple fact. Women will destroy you. One dumb mistake from a guy, no matter how long you've been with a woman, poof! You are gone. And, don't beg to go back to them, fellas. No...That just makes it worse and we wind up looking whipped and we can't go to the bowling ally with lash marks on.

See, I figured them out. I don't know all their secrets, but I do have the insight on one thing. They don't really need us guys. We are here for their amusment, like when a kid buys a goldfish. When they start floating at the top of the bowl, it's time to flush it down. They won't miss it that much, as it's just as simple to go to Wal-Mart and get another one.

Guys, we don't have a choice in the matter, either. We have to take it. We'll do our darnest to make you happy, or at least, what we think will make you happy.Simply because you are our mother, lovers and freinds, and honestly we can't do with out.We do one wrong thing, you all have to tell your girlfriends and that's living death. Once you do that, the other girls will give you that hard stare while you're just going the kitchen for a glass of water. No words. Just an "Oh lord, Girl. You could have bought a monkey and done better than him" look.

Ladies, we love you. We have no choice, as it's either you or play for the other team. I really don't wanna be traded. Just look at us in sympathy and realize we're just trying to keep you happy is all. We know we get it right all the time, but be happy that we made the attempt. You look out for us and we'll be there for you no matter what.

One more thing...Want to get us away from the TV? Wear that little red dress and some heels while holding a beer. We will follow you anywhere you want us to go.