Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hauling Stuff

I began hauling stuff to Columbia yesterday. I took 16 boxes of videos, 3 boxes of records, and some posters. A friend works at a storage facility, so I took them there. I am probably going to make another run on Friday. So, I my first order of business is to get the stuff down there. I am going to need a place to stay and a job. Please help if you can. Scroll down my blog for information. My sister-in-law Martha is havig surgery today to remove her gall bladder. She was pretty ill over Christmas. I went by Providence Hospital to see her and my brother, when I was in Columbia yesterday. She was in good spirits, but she wanted to get it over with. My brother was very tense. I could tell he hadn't slept much, but thankfully he is on vacation this week. John is a very Type A personality. My advice to him--go get something to eat and take a nap. He probably didn't. At least, he is in good health. Speaking of health, I am going to a counselor today. I need some help, too. Hopefully so I can stick around a while longer. There needs to be a brighter day ahead. Somebody just needs to believe in me, and I need to believe in myself.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Moving Day

So today starts the transition from Greenville to Columbia. I have liked my stay here in Greenville. I have enjoyed the mountains and the arts. The people, for the most part, have been very nice. If ever you get to come to Greenville, do. They have some great museums and galleries. There is always something to see and do here. And, I was happy to reconnect with my friend Mary. She has helped me in many ways, and I thank her for taking my autograph collection for her store. Hopefully, Caroline will advertise it. So, now I start another chapter in my life. Back to Columbia. Back to friends, and whatever family I have left. Back to people who seem to care about me and my well-being. Back to people that I can have a conversaton with. Back to people who I have something in common with. Back to people who like to have fun. Back to people who won't ignore me. Back to people who aren't overly paranoid. The list goes on. The moving is not going to happen overnight. I am beginning with some records, posters and videos. At some point, I will need to get a van or truck, which will be costly. Money that I don't have. I still don't have a place to stay nor a job. So, if anybody can help me financially to make the move and get me started again, I would be eternally grateful. My paypal address is durst11@gmail.com. Or, if you want to send it to my current living address, it is Walter Durst, 2530 East North Street 14-L, Greenville SC 29615. I'll probably be here for two more weeks, but I have t0 get out by January 31st. I am not interested in publicizing any gifts, so your anonymity will be preserved. God help us all.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Last Saturday, I had a very low point. I guess depression is the kind of thing that can be controlled, but if it raises its ugly head, watch out. That is what happened to me last Saturday. All of those lectures that I have gotten from friends went away. I just felt it was time to check out. Thankfully, I found my way over to a friend's place and she helped me get through that low point, and I climbed up to the other side. I found that I couldn't worry about this. Scroll down to the rollercoaster story. When I was in Columbia for Christmas, a friend blessed me out for not calling her, when I got at that point. I realized that people do care about me. They care whether I live or die. They care about the fact I have talents. They care, because they know I care. So, I need to get out of this situation. I understand, in a small way, how it must be with married couples, where a spouse will abuse the other spouse. Not so much physically as emotionally. I need to get out now, and I need help. Right now, I need money to get out. I know I need to move back to Columbia, but I don't have a job or place to stay. One blessing is that I have a little over a month to do this, but the sooner I get out of here, the better. I need a place to store my stuff. I am not going to take my bed or some other furniture. They are too heavy, and I won't have any help to move my things, so I'll let my roommate have them. This has been a good experience for me to be here this year. It has allowed me to realize what is important in life. Sometimes, you get so caught up in your work that you just don't see the big picture. You also see who are the important people. Who really care. And that life is too short. So, if you could help me, please do. I am not interested in publicizing anything. I just need a life away from here. My current address is: Walter Durst, 2530 East North Street 14-L, Greenville SC 29615. And, my paypal acct. is durst11@gmail.com. I need a home. When I get home, I promise you that I will seek professional help to get me back to where I need to be. And, I promise you that I will drive carefully and not hit any bridges along the way.

Friday, December 26, 2008

And So It Goes

One of my favorite writers is Kurt Vonnegut. He would write "And so it goes" to describe life. I had a wonderful Christmas. I got to visit with Peggy and Joni, and stay two days with Thom and his family. It was great to be with friends. Friends who love me. Unfortunately, when I got back to Greenville, I got a note from my roommate giving me an ultimatum of being out of here by January 31st. He apparently doesn't like me anymore. He told me I needed to get out, no matter if he has to move or not. He says I don't clean enough. I have, but he said early on he likes to clean, so I thought he would. He didn't. It has not been easy living with him, but I have tried to make the best of it. So, I have to leave. I knew I would, but the tone in his note to me was not pleasant. I don't have a place to move to. I don't have the money to move. I don't have a job. So, I ask anyone who reads this to help me, if they can. My current address is: Walter Durst, 2530 East North Street 14-L, Greenville SC 29615. My Paypal account is durst11@gmail.com. I would be eternally grateful. I am not looking to publicize any gift. And so it goes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Best Christmas

With the Christmas season upon us, I have been reflecting on my best Christmas. Some would say that their best Christmas was their best present. Maybe they got a ring from their fiancee. Maybe it was that bike they got as a kid. I have a friend who does not believe in Christmas. So, this blog is for her and all of those other people. When I was in seminary, I worked for a department store called Sanger-Harris. I had never missed a Christmas with my family in South Carolina before, but I had to this time, because of the retail hours. I had to work Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, so it was impossible to fly home for just one day. So, my parents sent their gifts to me in Fort Worth. I was living in the seminary dorm in a room by myself. I went outside and found a twig with some green pine straw on it and set it up in the corner of my room. At 8:30 Christmas morning, which was about the time my parents would start their Christmas, I put on some Christmas music on the stereo and began opening my presents. For the next 15 minutes, I laughed and cried. I was alone, but I was there in spirit. We were together although apart by 1000 miles. I learned that there will always be Christmas, despite the situation you find yourself. As you spend time with your family and friends this season, think of those who are far away from your family. The soldiers around the world. The people who have to work. And those who don't believe. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rollercoaster Worry

I love rollercoasters. Thanks to my friends Del and Chris, I have gone on some of the best rollercoasters in the world. Most of the time, I don't ride on coasters that go upside down, as I tend to get sick. Here is a little known fact for you. Did you know that when you ride on one of the coasters at Six Flags Over Texas, you can sing the first verse of "Amazing Grace" before you get to the first hill? True story. The thing about rollercoasters with me is that I am deathly afraid of them. I love them, but I am still very scared. I haven't been on one in a while. I don't know if my heart can take it now, but I bet you that I could still do it given the chance. But, there is one ritual that I go through just before riding a coaster. I worry. I worry about the brakes. I worry about the cars. I worry about me falling out. I worry about getting stuck. I worry about getting sick. I just worry. Once I get on the ride, I find that it is fun. At the end of the ride, I want to ride it again. It is like life. I have been very scared over the last few weeks about my future. There are a lot of unknowns. Where will I live? Where will I work? Can I get hired? How will I afford to eat? How will I afford to fix my car? The list is endless. But, I came to a realization yesterday. I am killing myself worrying. If I give it up to God, it will be okay. He will provide. I would have been dead long ago if not for God. I just had to remind myself of this. It will be okay. Whatever your concept of God is, it is okay. I still ask folks to scroll down my blog to read "Life's Lessons". Maybe it is God's way of communicating with you and touching your heart. I can't speak for Him. And while you are at it, say a prayer for a 7 year old boy named Christian. He is in the hospital with a brain tumor and will have surgery tomorrow. A tough time at Christmas, but I have faith he will be okay. We will all be okay. God bless.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


For any regular reader of my blog, you would have noticed that I try and have a two-word title. Sometimes, it has gone to three words, but that is rare. It is my little trick. The thing that sets my bog apart from some others. After all, the title of my blog is "My World", which is two words. So, it just makes sense to have these things have a title with two words. That is not the case today. Why? Because I felt like one word. The word is "thanks". It is a simple word. It is a word we use with more familiar people. With friends. If you use "thank you", you usually use those words to people you don't really know, or it is more formal. But thanks is something you tell to friends. It is shorter than thank you. I see "ty" or "thx" online. People know what you mean. So with that information, I wanted to write today about Mary. She is a friend from college who has helped me see some things about myself that I haven't seen in a long time. One of the worst feelings one can have is a feeling of worthlessness. You feel like nobody cares or take you for granted. When Van Johnson died recently, my thought was that I thought he had died some time ago. He was out of the public eye. I wonder if he thought nobody cared, especially after he stopped acting. But, Mary showed me yesterday, through several mental exercises, that I do have worth and need to act on it. It is not an overnight process. It will take time. But, I need to be positive. My friend Gwen says to remember "Head to the Sky". I know what she means. It is being in a constant state of prayer. Don't be so negative. Trust God. Laughter is the best medicine. I still need help. We all know that. Please scroll down to my blog on "Life's Lessons". I have some critical issues that need to be addressed. I know that. I am going to need help, as I cannot do it all myself. Please help me. And thanks, Mary.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Still More Changes

Hello boys and girls. Welcome to another installment of my world that sucks. I feel like I am an embarrassment to my family. The one they don't talk about. The one that they just shake their heads. I did a play in college called "Where Did We Go Wrong?" It was about the fourth wise man, and the commercialization of Christmas, but it could be the title of my autobiography. I tell you where I went wrong. I should have said I would teach at those conservative Christian colleges that wanted me, despite having some beliefs that they didn't share. I could have lived a lie and been successful. Or, I could have said yes to the bank in 1976 that wanted me to head up their fledgling computer operation. But no. I wanted a job that had windows, and this was in a basement. Had I taken it, I would be wealthy today. I know you can't really say "what if", but I think of things like that, because of the news that my roommate will most likely leave his job on Dec. 31st, rather than January 16th. That two weeks that I won't have. I don't know when he will move to Clemson, but it doesn't include me. Again, I plead to anyone reading this. If you know of a job, I can do almost anything, except for lumberjack or driving a stick shift. Please look down the blog page for "Life's Lessons". Maybe you will learn something. Thanks again, Thomas. He knows why. Chris, please sell one of my songs to an artist. And, send me half of the money. I am getting desperate. You know, children's food isn't half bad once you get used to the taste. The Cobbwebs could have been a good band, if we didn't have such opinionated people. The music was commercial. People said it was good. Anybody listening? And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Changes

My roommate informed me that he is losing his job on January 16th, and he will probably move to Clemson to manage another apartment complex. That means I will have to move out of here by then. As stated in my blog below on "Life's Lessons", I will need help. Please read that blog. Stay tuned.

Cat Left

Please scroll down to my "Life's Lessons" blog, but for now I just wanted to let y'all know that yesterday was a hap...hap...happy day. The cat woke us up at 3:30am yesterday morning, as usual. My roommate was very upset, as the cat was on his mattress. He yelled at the cat. Around 3pm, he came back from work and said that he found a home for the cat and packed it up. So, the cat is gone. We both slept well last night, except the rain woke me up this morning hitting the awning. I could deal with the rain.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life's Lessons

When I was a kid, I learned some lessons of life. Don't run with the scissors. Don't stick your fingers in the fan. Don't play with matches. Don't put your finger in the lamp socket. Look both ways before crossing a street. The list goes on. When I went to school, a lesson I learned was that if you look different, your peers will bully you. When I got to college, I learned that if you major in Theatre, some people will assume you are gay. When I went to seminary, I learned that if you are the least bit different, some people will think you are possessed by the devil. When I got my Master's degree, I learned that it does not guarantee that I will get a job in my field, especially when the school doesn't like you. When I got into business and was successful, I learned that there is always going to be that jealous person who is not as good as you, but is in a position of authority, and will make it impossible for you to advance. When I moved to Greenville, I learned another lesson--there are no guarantees that life will be good. Maybe I was just a bit too naive, but what happened? A church leader assumed I was gay, because I have never been married. I loved many girls over my life, but they were all taken away from me. My heart has been broken so many times that it is fragmented. Each time that I take a fragment and try and put it back together, it slips away. That is what my life is about. If you think that is sad, okay. But, it is my reality. By the way, when psychiatrists have emotional problems, do they go to other psychiatrists for help? I don't think so, because it shows weakness. When ministers need help, do they go to other ministers? Sometimes, but mostly not. They don't want to admit they need help. I had friends who were ministers, and they killed themselves to avoid getting help. I have devoted my life to helping others. To make others feel happy or needed. But, when I needed help, many of those people have turned away. I know life isn't fair. I also know that the world does not revolve around me. There are others out there who are worse off than me. There are those who have problems. One of life's lessons is that this world is not a perfect place. If it was, we would all be in peace and harmony. Kind of like that old Coke commercial. But, life is not like that. Another one of life's lessons is that people are very willing to give to charity, as long as they don't have to look at it. And because it is tax-deductable. They don't want to help those that they know, or are even related to. They would rather live in a coccoon and come out at Christmas and give to those they don't know. It makes them feel good. I don't mean for this blog today to be a self-pity blog. I have written way too many of those. But, I know life isn't fair. I have learned a few things while playing Texas Hold'em Poker on Myspace. Thankfully, it is not real money, but I have learned a lot about people there. Some want to bet conservatively, as if it was in fact their money. They wait for the good hand and make the bet. Others are there to bet crazily, without regard for their hand that they are dealt. They just want to bluff you out, or have a death wish. Still others fold, whether they have a good hand or not, because they are scared what the other person has. And, then there are those who try and predict what others have, and then bet accordingly. It is like life. We are all dealt hands, and it is how we play them I betted a lot, when I moved to Greenville, and I am on the verge of losing. Because of the terrible economy, businesses can't or won't hire. Having worked at Macy's, I can tell you that many companies are not hiring to cut costs and try and get every ounce of sweat from those still there. But, that's business. And, thanks to the economy, people are not buying online from people like me as they once did. So, I am quickly running out of money. I may be broke by January 1st. I can't afford to move, although it looks like I will have to. I can't afford to get my car fixed, and I can't afford to get a new one. Life isn't fair. But, I have learned another of life's lessons while here. People, who I took for granted in Columbia, mean the world to me. I miss them so much. I wish we could all do a group hug right now. I was reminded about this, when Konnie sent me an email this morning about people in our lives, who may not be around like they were before, but still are our friends. I began to cry, because I miss Konnie. I haven't seen her in almost a year, although we have the internet. We have the phone. But, it just isn't the same. I need to come home. I need to be with my friends. If I could get a job, great. But, I need to come home. Help me. My paypal account is durst11@gmail.com, and my address is 2530 East North Street 14-L, Greenville SC 29615. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Cat part two

My roommate got back last night, and I heard no cat. Of course, I was watching the Cowboys win. I went to sleep with quiet. I smiled, because I thought no cat. He had second thoughts. Maybe he found another home for it. I had a nice dream, and everything was good. That was until 3:30am. The cat woke me up with loud meows. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! He did bring the cat. I wasn't totally sure, since there is a cat that lives outside of the condo that yells during the night, which I wrote about a few days ago. I tried to think good thoughts. That was until this morning, when I woke up. I went downstairs and saw the water and food bowls in the kitchen, and I figured they weren't for me. Now, let me get one thing straight. I like cats. I get along with cats. They get along with me. In fact, people have commented on the fact on how docile cats are around me. I like cats, because of their personalities mainly. They usually are at peace, and they are great stress relievers. BUT, this is not the place for pets that roam around. Maybe fish, but not cats. I have a lot of things that are rather valuable. I moved some of them up to a room that I can shut the door, but I can't put everything in that room. So, maybe my roommate can find a home for it, but not here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Cat

My roommate has a bad habit of not talking to me. He was supposed to have outpatient surgery tomorrow, and told me a week ago that he needed me to take him to the hospital. No problem. I asked him today what time was his appointment, and he told me he had cancelled the surgery until later. Thanks for telling me. Then, he sent an email to me this afternoon forwarded from a friend of his about a cat. The person was thanking my roommate for taking the cat and giving it a home. I knew nothing about the cat. It is a two year old male cat that was owned by somebody else, who couldn't take care of it and was about to be done away with, when it was rescued by somebody else. The cat is supposedly litter box trained, but I have a lot of valuable books and records here. I cannot afford to have a cat mess this stuff up. Thankfully, there are two rooms, where I can close the doors, but there is stuff in the living room that the cat could get into. Where is the cat going to sleep? Who is going to take care of it? I can answer the second question. That will be me, because I don't have a job, and my roommate is gone most of the days. What is going to happen on weekends, when my roommate sleeps all day and stays up all night? Will the cat howl, and keep me awake? This is quite upsetting. I don't mind pets. I think they can be a stress reliever, but this place is not set up for a cat. Unless, he keeps it in his room, and will mess up his clothes. Then, I guess it would be okay, but that isn't going to happen. Another reason why I need to move. Please, if anybody has a room where I can stay for a while, let me know. I prefer Columbia. Hint Hint.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not Sleeping

I have a confession to make. Is it a juicy confession? Is it a confession about an illegal event? No. But, it is a confession nevertheless. Here it is. Ready? Okay, here goes. I dread weekends. Oh, why? Weekends are supposed to be fun. Aren't they? You always hear about people looking forward to weekends. So, why do I dread weekends? Because I know that I won't get any sleep. I roommate tends to stay up all night on Friday and Saturday nights and then sleep all during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Consequently, we don't do anything together. But, why would that affect my sleep? Because he moans and groans, and sometimes yells out during the night. That wakes me up. Then, when I wake up, I hear the sounds of the night, like the cat in the alley, or the sirens, or the train far off. It is kind of interesting to hear the sounds of the night. You kind of wonder why all of these people and things are not sleeping. But, I guess Greenville is a city that doesn't sleep. New York City cannot claim that title by themselves. When I worked at Macy's, there were times when I would have to go to work at 6am, so I would have to get up around 4:30 to get ready for work. I would cut on the TV to see a lot of weird stuff that you just couldn't see during the day. A lot of infomercials and other stuff. The other stuff was more interesting. But, I am not going there. Okay, mind of the gutter now. So, anyway I would drive to work and see bars closing up, and police cars speeding by. There weren't many people up at that time of the morning, but there were a few. Perhaps my roommate wants to add to that small group. They say that musicians who go late at night performing sleep all day. They say that folks who work late shifts sleep all day. My roommate is neither one of those. And what is so strange is that Sunday-Thursday, he sleeps at a normal time and wakes up at a normal time, although the alarm goes off a few times before he gets up. Then, when he gets back here after work, he complains about being tired. I think he is out of whack. But, I need my sleep. My right eye is jumping a bit this morning. Does anyone have any suggestions? I cannot afford headphones, and ear plugs won't drown out the moaning. Maybe a change of venue?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

John's Birthday

Today is my brother's birthday. He is 7 1/2 years older than me, so he has always been the elderly one. Just kidding, John. I thought though that he was somewhat cursed having a December birthday, because it was so close to Christmas. After all, I was born in June, so I got separate presents, but John was born in December, so some of his presents were combined with Christmas. But, our Mother would do one thing for John and that was to bake a cake for him. Every year, she would ask him what kind of cake he would want, and he would put in his order, and she would provide. It went well, except for one year. He decided he wanted a coconut cake. Mother worked on it, and she put coconut shavings on top of the cake. It looked very nice. Then, she put the candles on the cake and lit them. We were sitting around the breakfast room table and sang "Happy Birthday". I was sitting across from John. It was time for him to blow out the candles. He made his wish; closed his eyes; and blew. The coconut shavings went all over me, the table and the floor. He thought it was funny. I wasn't laughing. Neither was Mother, because she didn't want to clean up the floor. She made John help. It was his most memorable birthday for me. John also had an accident another time with a can of whipped cream. We were having strawberry shortcake, and he insisted to spray the whipped cream on the dessert. Despite Mother's better thoughts, she said okay. The can got away from John, and he sprayed whipped cream all over the walls and ceiling of the kitchen. We never had strawberry shortcake again. Thanks, John. Happy Birthday.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Johnny's Gone

Today is another awful anniversary. One that I really don't like to remember, but I have no choice. In 1980 on this day, John Lennon left this Earth. He is still with us in the music and films, but it was another day in music history that the music died. I didn't find out until the next morning. My Mother woke me about 6am and said, "You had better cut on the radio". I had it tuned to WNBC in New York just by accident, and I heard the tragic news. I couldn't believe it. My Mother had introduced me to The Beatles' music in 1964. I had to go to work at JB White's, but I was in a trance. Nothing made sense anymore. I wanted to get rid of all handguns. I honored John by doing a dramatic reading of two of his songs at an Arts tournament. I also wrote and performed a one-man one-act play on that tragic night. I don't want to write much about this day, because it makes me sad, but John was a man of peace. He fought for peace. I have befriended Yoko because of this event. She is a woman of peace. Can't we have peace? Johnny's gone but not forgotten. Peace be to you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor

Today is December 7th. It is Sunday. And, it is Pearl Harbor Day. On a Sunday morning in Hawaii, a force from Japan attacked the US Navy at Pearl Harbor. The country was shocked. We were attacked by another country. The next day, we declared war on Japan and then Germany, and thus began World War II for us. Everything about our country was dedicated to the war. There was nothing we could do other than fight for our country. It was a Day that will live in Infamy. That is what President Roosevelt said. We were all in agreement. There were some things we probably shouldn't have done, such as the Japanese camps, where we inprisoned Americans, but at the time we did it because we were at war. It is easier to look back on the war and see what was right and what was wrong, but not so much at the present time. I suppose that we can make parallels with the events after 9/11. Until that date, every school child learned about December 7th as the date that changed our country. Today, the children are learning about 9/11. After that date, we looked at Arabs differently. But, there is one stark difference between the two dates. We were all gung ho about going after those people responsible for killing our people. After all, we were attacked. We gave blood for the wounded. We wanted revenge. More than seven years later, we are still looking for those responsible. We have gotten some of them, but not all. Not the big prize. Our country is not all consumed with getting the big prize. We are not interested in winning. We just want to survive another day. Make no mistake. We are at war. We have been at war for a long time. Even before 9/11. That date was a wake-up call, much like December 7th was for our parents and grandparents. But, I fear we have gone back to sleep. I don't want another wake-up call, but maybe we need to wake up on our own and finish the job. They say history is a cycle. What goes around, comes around. Let's end it now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Parade

Today is the Christmas parade in Columbia. It has changed a lot since I was a kid. When I was growing up, we had movie and TV stars to be in the parade. At my first parade, my father's office was about two blocks away from Main Street. He brought a ladder, so I could see over the crowd. One year, we had those contraptions with mirrors to see over the crowd. Then, his office moved to Richland Street, which was near the start of the parade, so I could see the stuff first, before the crowds on Main St. I saw James Drury from "The Virginian" on a horse. I saw Dean Jones from Disney movies. I saw Leif Erickson from "High Chapparal". But, the big star was William Shatner from "Star Trek". He was dressed in his Captain Kirk uniform and sitting on the back of a convertible. His pants were pulled down a bit, so that I could see his Fruit of the Loom underwear. I was quite surprised, because I thought Captain Kirk had come from the future, so what was he doing wearing present day underwear? It was a big letdown. The year of Leif Erickson, I went to the parade luncheon and sat next to him. He was very drunk. I asked Daddy why he smelled so bad. I had never smelled liquor before. He actually fell out of his chair. There was the year that Donna Douglas was scheduled to appear. She was on "The Beverly Hillbillies", but she got as far as Charlotte and developed the flu. The word was that she didn't want to come to a small town like Columbia, so they got Billy Mumy from "Lost in Space" instead. I was sick, so I couldn't go. But, my father got an autographed picture of him for me. That was cool. As I got older, the stars became less and less. Now, it is a parade for politicians, school bands, and minor beauty queens. I guess the young kids like it. I have never officially been in a parade, but I did by accident in the Prosperity SC Christmas Parade. I swerved to avoid a truck on the highway and found my car behind Santa Claus. People waved at me, so I waved back for about a block, and then they turned, and I went straight. It was rather bizarre.

Friday, December 5, 2008

In Trouble

Hi everyone. I haven't written in a while. Sorry about that. So, what has been going on? Just trying to survive another day. Last night, or early this morning, the neighbors were laughing and partying at 3:30am. That kept me up. I banged on the wall, and they quieted down. I don't do well if I lose sleep. FYI. Maybe by telling you that little tidbit causes me to delay the subject of the day. So, let's get to it. I still don't have a job. No one wants to hire me. I am quickly running out of money. It looks like I am going to have to sell my Mother's ring just for food and gas. Sorry to have to tell you that. This is the season for giving. I think it is great to give to charity, but charity begins at home. Unfortunately, giving to me is not a tax write-off. I hate begging from friends. Until I came here to Greenville, that was the only way I could pay my rent, since Macy's wouldn't give me a raise. If I had a reason, like I was doing drugs, then it would have been more understandable, but I don't do drugs. I don't drink. I don't smoke. But, I am in trouble. Tough love. Depression is awful. Not happy. There was a story on TV this morning that you are happier, if you have a relative within a mile of where you live. I guess there is no hope for me. I can't afford to move now. I am here. I am screaming inside. Help.

Monday, December 1, 2008


When I was in college, I developed something called The Walter Durst Radio Hour on a fictitious radio station called WOW, which stood for Walter Oh Walter. Originally, it was a weekly taped series that was like a glorified letter to a friend named Sonny Smith. He lived in Columbia, and I was away in school. Instead of writing letters, and long before email, we sent the cassette tapes back and forth. Many were 90 minutes, but most were 60 minutes. Even a few were 30 minutes. They contained music and news. His "station" was SOS, which stood for Sonny Oh Sonny. He turned me on to music by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Sonny Boy Williamson, and much more. I would play Chicago, The Beatles, and a lot more. We talked about loves and life. I would type out scripts and time them out, because I tried to make my tapes as professional as possible. The show actually aired on a real radio station briefly, or can we say one time? A radio station behind Anderson College allowed me to do a WDRH on it, but it was determined that it was too controversial and was taken off. I got a little too political about Vietnam. So, I went back to the tapes. I also traded taped letters with my friends Mary Ellen and Karen in Clemson, as well as a few others, but the ones to Sonny were classics. I have a few of them, mostly from the mid-1970's. I was reminded about all of this, because of a dream I had last night, where somebody let me be on the radio and have my own show of talk and music. Thanks to Jonathon Rush. I wish it wasn't a dream. "And now, from studio 235 of the New Dorm of Anderson College at Anderson SC, it's the Walter Durst Radio Hour on station WOW, which stands for Walter Oh Walter. The Walter Durst Radio Hour is brought to you by Irby's Pies and the Post Office. It is also heard in Poland, Chad, Libya, Albania, Lesotho, Madigascar, and it is the official radio station of Outer Mongolia. And now, here's Walter..."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Today is the first Friday after Thanksgiving that I haven't worked in retail in 25 years. Stores say that it can make or break their year with the sales from today. That's why they call it "Black Friday". From a retail person, today is a day that they dread. Customers come in and want something for nothing. Tempers flare. You can be stuck at a register for hours and not move. The store does all they can to max out the associates. One will ring while another one bags. If you're lucky. You tell customers they can't use their coupons on specials, but then that is why they are there early in the morning. They have come for the specials. The customers curse you and tell you they want to see a manager. You gladly call for a manager, but they are hiding and don't come. The customers then throw the coupons at you and walk away. Or else, they tell you that another associate took the coupons. I would ask for names, but they couldn't tell me who. Or, I would say that they could take the items to that associate to ring up, but I wasn't going to do it. If you call their bluff, they will back down. But, I have seen fights and customers getting hurt. Why? To save a few dollars. It isn't worth it. Maybe this year, with the bad economy, it won't be as hectic in the stores, but don't bet on it. I am just very thankful that I don't have to be in it. 25 years of that crap can be extremely stressful. I need a job, and maybe I will go back into retail, but it isn't worth it to take the abuse. My advice--everybody just take a deep breath. Read the fine print on the ads. And, give me my battle pay.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks

Have you seen the Publix commercial for Thanksgiving? It is actually very good. It stresses the need to get together and express thanks to friends and family. This Thanksgiving is special for a lot of people. Despite the stress of a bad economy, we have a lot to be thankful for. So much has happened this year. One friend is going through a cancer journey, but she will be thankful for hopefully catching it in time. Another friend thought his cancer was terminal, but apparently he is going to be okay. I am thankful that I don't have to be at work at 5am on Friday for the zoo of customers. I am in desperate need of work, but I am thankful that the stress of retail has been relieved. This will be the first "Black Friday" that I haven't worked in 25 years. That can take a lot out of you. Do I miss it? Sort of, but life goes on. I have realized that there is life outside of retail. Anyone who has experienced that understands. Another friend also knows this feeling first-hand for the first time in almst 23 years. We have a lot in common. Most of all, I am just thankful for my friends. If you don't know that by now, you have not been reading this blog. This Thanksgiving, I will be spending it with Thom, Mary Ann, Payton, Nathan, and the good people of St. Matthews, SC. They have been gracious to open their home to me over the past 11 years or so. They have become my family, and I thank God for them. I am also thankful for a strong friendship with Joni. Despite knowing her for almost 12 years, it became real this past year. Several events caused it to become strong, and I hope it never ends. I also am thankful for Aubrey. She encouraged me to take a step that I needed to do before it killed me. She saw beyond my situation. Her strong faith keeps me going. I am also thankful for Mary, whose friendship has been since college but just recently has been rekindled. Her kindness has been much appreciated, and we hope the store will succeed. Simple Pleasures at 104 West Curtis Street in Simpsonville, SC. Sorry for the advertisement, but we need to get the word out. I am also thankful for Jimmy. He opened his home to me and allowed me to move to Greenville. It has been a time for reflection and experiencing new things. The mountains have been very calming. Now, it is time to get back into the game in Columbia hopefully, but I think him for coming to my aid. There are many others to give thanks. Forgive me, if I leave someone out, but here goes: Konnie, Talula, Peggy, Chris, Janita, Del, Phil, Betsy, Brandi, Farida, Ne'cole (thanks for letting me laugh), my Macy's friends, Lisa, Pam, and so many more. Thanks, guys. Most of all though, I must thank God for giving me another day. Give thanks.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Secrets

Everyone has secrets. Some are secrets you don't want anyone to know. Others are national secrets that no one knows, except for maybe the CIA. Or the FBI. Or the President. Or the Vice-President. You see where this is going. But, we aren't talking about national secrets. We are talking about my secrets. I treasured the confidence that a friend gave to me for her secret. We worked through her secret for several months before she felt comfortable in exposing her secret. Trust is very important with keeping secrets. Another friend speculated yesterday that I have a lot of secrets. I actually don't have that many. Many of them I have written about in this blog. For example, the secret that I wasn't supposed to talk about with my situation in Israel with the CIA and Palestinian terrorists. At least, they said I couldn't talk about it, but I figure that 35 years later is long enough. But, what are my secrets? Well, I guess that if I told the deep, dark secrets in my life, people may be shocked or at least think badly about me. That is where the walls come into play. I have written before about my walls. Sometimes they are very high and thick. No one can get around them or over them. I feel more comfortable with that. But, sometimes I open the door wide enough to see inside. That is what this blog is about. Look inside. Maybe you will see a little bit of you inside that wall. But here is a taste of my secrets:
1. How can I find people so well? If I told you all of my secrets on that, then maybe no one would want to hire me, as that is an important talent of mine. But, I will give you a hint. I love puzzles. I love challenges. I love games. I treat the search as a puzzle, challenge and game. I also use a little luck. Sorry, I can't say anymore, because it is a secret.
2. What is going on with my personal life? If I told you, all of my walls would tumble down. Maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing, but needless to say the old phrase "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" kind of fits. Yes, I love. I have loved many times over my life. Unfortunately, many of those times were a one-way situation. There are some secrets within this category, but maybe I can open up on them at a later date.
3. What about finances? My Mother, when asked how she was despite her stroke, would say she was fine. I wish I could say the same. My secret here is that I try and put a positive face on a very bad situation. When I asked a professional about would people know what was going on with my finances, she said only if I told them or wore a sign around my neck. I have told some about it, and some of those have felt worse of me. But, I will tell you a portion of my secret here: I am not doing well. In fact, I may be completely broke by Christmas without a job. My life has fallen apart in that regard.
4. How do I write or create? I really don't know. This is a secret that may or may not be known at all. The fact is that I know I have talents. I have a talent for writing. I also have a talent for acting. I also have a talent for seeing concepts that others don't. In some ways, it is like the cliche of "thinking outside of the box". I will have to think further on how I do these things. But, when I read something, that I have written some time before, I often do not remember writing it. Words flow from my brain to my fingers. I edit as I go. But, my secret of how I do this is in some ways a secret to me.
In summary, I have a few secrets. Maybe that maintains a sense of mystery. No, I haven't killed anyone. If you have any questions about my secrets, feel free to ask. I may even let you in on a secret, if you promise not to tell anyone. It is all about trust. Trust me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22

There are days that are burned into the country's memory. One of these is November 22, 1963. This was the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. I happen to be one of those who believe that Oswald didn't act alone. I believe there was a conspiracy. I know what the Warren Commission said, and I know what the FBI said, but there are so many unanswered questions that it boggles the mind how a lone gunman like Oswald could have done it. But, let's go back to that day. I was in school. We were carving green bricks. Another teacher ran into our room and told our teacher to cut on the TV. She did, and we saw the news that Kennedy had been shot. I dropped my knife and was glued to the TV. They let out school early, and I ran home to be glued to the TV all weekend. I think it was the beginning of my being a political and news junkie. My Mother and I saw Ruby shoot Oswald live on TV that Sunday. I remember she fell to her knees from her chair and yelled out "They shot him". She believed in a conspiracy, too. We watched the funeral on Monday, as there was no school. There was only one time that weekend that I didn't watch TV, and I went to our backyard and talked to my neighbor Bruce Campbell. But, that was just for a short time. I just had to get some fresh air. That was 45 years ago today. They are comparing Obama to Kennedy, because he has young children, and he is a young man. They are saying that Obama's White House will be the new Camelot. I hope it doesn't end the same way.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

At Work

I need a job, and you can scroll down my blog to see my resume, but I wanted to tell you the story of a place I used to work at. I worked there almost 12 years. Although I excelled in my job by making areas succeed, they didn't seem to appreciate me enough my not giving me appropriate raises. This place is Macy's. In the old days, when it was Rich's, it was a lot of fun to work there. The associates laughed and had a good time. Then Macy's came along and things changed. It wasn't fun anymore. Associates didn't laugh anymore. At Rich's, my Lamp Department was the number one Lamp Department in the entire company. Macy's didn't have Lamps. I got the Luggage Department to be in the top five in our division. They even doubled our floor space. But, I never got a raise. So, I left the store, because the cost of living was growing faster than what I made. I had to resort to asking friends and family for help. Something I hated to do, but I had to eat, pay utilities and rent. It was an awful time in my life. I need a job now and know something will happen, hopefully soon. I asked Macy's a couple of times to come back, and they said no. I even got a letter from them saying I wasn't qualified. But, last summer a co-worker of mine had a stroke. Macy's wasn't the whole reason why, but it contributed. Then two days ago, another co-worker of mine had a heart attack on the floor. He had open heart surgery. Another co-worker died last year from a heart attack. Another co-worker had a heart attack last year. Now, I know that you can't blame Macy's on everything, but the place is a zoo. There are people there who don't know how to run a store. They need to recognize the fact that it is a business, but it is also a place that couldn't run it without people. People with lives. People with feelings. An old friend of mine once said there is a difference between being a merchant and being a store. A merchant knows how to do things without tearing down. They know how to build up people. If they build people up, the people will bend over backwards to do a good job. If you constantly tear them down and find fault all the time, then you will do nothing and not care about anything. Macy's will learn their lesson. Probably won't though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Tribute

I skipped yesterday's blog, because of putting my resume up. I hope someone sees it, who can provide a good job for me, but I also needed to write something today. That is one thing about writers. We need to write. I wanted to write a short piece on a friend. He served Richland County and didn't get paid. He helped others, but very few knew his name. He was a gentle soul, but he could be mean when he had to. His name was Woton, and he was a member of the K-9 group in the Sheriff's Department. He was trained to fight crime, and served very well. He was very protective of his human partner. As he got older, he was retired from the force, but he lived in a loving home. He had done his work. Now, he needed help, as he had helped others when he was younger. He had some health problems, much like an older man would have. He couldn't walk around very well due to arthritis. He had some internal issues, but Woton was brave. Last week, it became necessary to say goodbye to Woton and allow him to go to doggie heaven. I believe that we will be reunited with our animals in Heaven. To Woton, and others in our lives, thanks for helping us. Thanks for giving us unconditional love. And to Woton...He Lived To Serve.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Resume

I thought I would post my resume here to help those of you give me a chance. I am desiring to move to Columbia, if possible.

Walter Durst
2530 East North Street 14-L
Greenville, SC 29615

AC Flora High School, Columbia SC, Liberal Arts
Anderson College, Anderson SC, A.A. Speech and Drama
Presbyterian College, Clinton SC, B.A. Fine Arts (Drama)
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth TX, M.A. Communications

United States Department of Commerce, Columbia SC, Special Places Clerk & Investigations
White Oak Baptist Conference Center, White Oak SC, Administrative Assistant
Belk Department Store, Columbia SC, Sales Associate; Buyer for Nine Departments; Credit Manager; Systems Analyst; Accounts Payable
Rich's Department Store, Columbia SC, Sales Associate
Macy's Department Store, Columbia SC, Sales Associate

School Honors:
Who's Who in American Junior Colleges, Denmark Society (Anderson College), Delta Psi Omega Honor Drama Fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega Honor Drama Fraternity, Student Affairs Council & Student Assembly (Presbyterian College)

Employment Honors:
Best Buyer Award, Sales Associate of the Year & Sales Support Associate of the Year (Belk), Number One Lamp Department for Company (Rich's), Top Five Luggage Department in Sales for Company (Macy's)

Acting, Writing, Collecting Pop Culture Memorabilia, Music, Internet
Acted in Four Films, Five Television Shows and Numerous Plays, Best Actor Award Columbia College--Columbia SC, Nationally Published Articles, Poetry, Short Stories and Songs

Public Speaking, Finding Lost People, Management, Word 2000, Windows Applications, Sales, Team Player, Able to work alone or with others with no supervision, Creativity

References Available Upon Request

Thanks for looking. Please let me know if you know of anything. I am looking to do something where I can be creative or to make a difference.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One More Thing

Oh, and one more thing. Could you agree to having air or heat in the condo? I sleep with 3 layers of clothes under 5 layers on the bed, because of no heat. I know you want to save some money, but if you cut down on your smoking or drinking, you should be able to afford it. Just a thought.

Open Letter

Today is another day. Oh, how profound. I do not normally write a blog to one person. If you feel that I am writing to you, then okay. Maybe I am. But, today is different. Today, I am writing a direct letter to my roommate. So, if you are not my roommate, you may want to skip today, or you can read it. Here goes. I have not had a roommate for a long time. Unless you count when I lived with my parents and took care of them. If you don't count that, it has been since college. Okay. When I moved to Greenville, my thought was to start a new life. To use my creative juices to do monologues. That door closed. Although struggling, I have been able to survive the best way I could. I haven't had a regular job, but I have been able to sell some stuff on the internet. I thought your friend was going to let me do that store in Easley, but I guess not. You and I don't communicate. I try, but you just don't. You shut me out. I would have thought you and I would have had some fun together, but I go to places alone. I do not feel that I had any intention to change you, but I did think you could have meet me halfway. You didn't thank me for paying the electric bill, so they wouldn't cut off the power. Instead, you blamed me for not paying the bill that I never saw. You blamed me for not taking out the trash and thus had ants and gnats in the condo. Despite you dropping food on the floor. I sprayed the condo, and they went away. I don't understand how you can have a regular bedtime and regular time getting up Monday through Friday, but on Friday night and Saturday night, you stay up all night and then pass out all day Saturday and Sunday. Then, you complain we don't do anything. We don't do anything, because I have a regular schedule each and every day. I do not appreciate that you yell out in the middle of the night several times on Friday and Saturday night and wake me up. I cannot judge your drinking, despite I am a recovering alcoholic and have no desire to drink, but why do you develop a raging hangover over the night and not sleep, and then you get mad at me for having a regular schedule? I need my sleep to function. I am here too. You are incredibly inconsiderate. You blamed me for losing the keys to the basement and laundry room. If I did, I am very sorry, but they were over the trash can, so who knows? Maybe I am being picky, but I thought we could be a team. I exist here. You are the king of the condo. That's fine. Your name is on the condo. You give me a little spot in the refrigerator. It would have been nice to have half of it, but that's not possible. I have let you use my utensils, glasses, and bowls. I tried to be considerate, but it is not a two-way street. At least not now. You complain about your body hurting. I am going to tell you a secret. My father constantly moaned and groaned. He was not really hurting. He just wanted attention. I would ask him what was the matter, and he would say nothing. He just wanted you to ask him. I had my fill with that kind of thing. I have no sympathy for people who moan for no reason but their own. I am sorry if that sounds cold, but that is the way it is. If you are sick, go to the doctor. If you need my help, I'll take you. But, if you drink to excess, and then have a bad hangover, sorry but that is your fault, not mine. Ever wonder why I have gone to Columbia so much? To get away from your smoke. I had no idea how much you smoked. Constantly. It has gotten in my clothes and fragile lungs. I have asthma and chronic bronchitis. I have been able to manage it recently, but God help you if I get an attack. You cough all the time. You blame it on hay fever. Could it be because of your smoking? Can you imagine how much money you would save by stopping smoking? That is your choice to change. Yes, I am addicted to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I can go through a $3 bag a day. But, I'll make you a deal. Cut back on your smoking, and I'll cut back on my candy. I have no idea if you will read this, but here is the bottom line to this diatribe. I really want to move back to Columbia, but right now I can't afford to. I see that it was a mistake coming here, although my stress levels have gotten a lot better. Between Macy's and my financial situation, my depression was too hard to take. I had to make a change. I miss my friends very much. I love my friends. Thom, Mary Ann, Joni, Del, Peggy, Konnie, Ne'cole, and so many more. I can't tell you how excited I was when Mary offered me a place in the Simply Pleasures store in Simpsonville. It was a place I could go to sell some of my stuff. And, I expect it will stay there for now. But, I can't stay here. I can't be sympathetic to your plight. I am sorry about that. I imagine you thought that I wouldn't have been here this long. But, you must tell me things. What is the status of the Clemson job? Tell me what I need to do. Do I need to move out? I have tried to get a job. But, things are not too good right now. When do you want to see Little Mountain? When do you want to do stuff? Why are you tired all the time? Why do you complain you haven't been out since I got here? If you do read this, I hope you don't do anything to me. Quite frankly, when you blamed me for the power bill not being paid, you hung up the phone on me. I was afraid for my life. That is why I went down to Columbia. Yes, it was a family emergency. It was my emergency. I had no idea what you were going to do to me. My friends said come home. This condo is not my home. It is where my stuff is. I need a home. I need someone to take me in and let me get my life back together. I need my friends. I hope you understand. God bless us all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Bond

I went to see the new James Bond film "Quantum of Solace" yesterday. Although I am a purist, when it comes to Bond, I liked this one better than the previous entry of "Casino Royale". Daniel Craig has a much harder edge about him. However, if you look at the first two Connery films, they are very similar in tone. I have been rather disappointed in the new series not using the traditional opening, but I was pleasantly surprised at the end credits of the new film, so maybe the next film will get back to the basics that has made the formula successful. James Bond is an iconic figure that seems to have shaped my life in many ways. After all, when I was born, the first Bond novel was published. It was also the year that Playboy began publishing their magazine. Do you see where this is going? No? Me neither, but I just thought I would point it out. I am not going to spoil the movie for you, in case you are going to see it, but it does have a lot of action. Some of the plot was a little hard to follow, but maybe they did that on purpose to carry it over to the next film. I kept thinking that the editors of the film should get an award for the use of all those camera angles and shots. It is quite remarkable. And, there are times that you are not watching the movie, you are in the movie. I can't imagine how hard it was for the camera operators to run around in the scene. I know some critics have said that this film is just an excuse for guns, knives and bombs, but sometimes you need an escape from the real world. I know I do. Good job to Barbara and Michael. James Bond Will Return.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Always Bridesmaid

You know the saying "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride"? At my age and never been married, some folks tend to wonder why. They start to jump to conclusions. They wonder if I am gay. They wonder if there is something wrong with me. They wonder, and then they go on with their lives. I have been blessed with a caring spirit. Ask anyone, and they will tell you how much I care about others' lives. I am someone's best friend. I am someone's brother. I am lonely. Much of it is my fault, I suppose. But, I care about others, and I live my life through theirs. I guess because my life is so boring otherwise. Others' lives are more exciting. They do stuff. They know people. They have fun. I used to have fun. But, I don't really have fun anymore. What is fun? Being with others that I love. Unfortunately, most never knew how I felt. Why? No guts. Fear of rejection. Shy. The walls were too high. Didn't know how. Oh, the excuses are endless. No, they are not excuses. They are reasons. At least, they are in my mind. My screwed up mind. My creative mind. I must say that without all of the lost loves that I have had over my life, I wouldn't have been able to write such good songs. Right, Chris? You know us suffering artists. Okay, here I go into my self-pity mode again. Sorry, it isn't my normal funny self. It isn't the person you see who cares about others and their situations. Maybe, it is because it is raining today. Rain affects people's moods. That is a scientific fact. But, I am at a stage in my life, where I care about others, and it would be nice if they care about me. I suppose some do, but on what level? As a friend? As a brother? Or, are people so wrapped up in their own lives that they don't see? See me? Some people care. Others accept being cared about. Still others just blow me off. There is no money in caring. In some respects I think of myself as a reincarnation of Vincent Van Gogh. If you don't understand, research him. No, I am not gay, contrary to what some Baptists might think. My excuse is that I haven't found the right person, but that's not true. I found many right people. I cared. I just never had the guts to say anything, and off they went. Some day. Maybe, when I am reincarnated again. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Car Crashes

I have written before how much I hate stupid drivers. It is mind-boggling how some folks just don't understand that, when they get behind a two-ton machine, they are not protected from others, nor do they own the road. We are all in this together. Every morning, I wake up to the news that somebody has had a car accident. Some are more serious than others. If you have to put on your makeup, do it before you get in the car. If you have to text somebody, pull off to the side of the road. That is what shoulders are for. Except in Mississippi, where they are different colors and keep you awake. And, if you have to change lanes, look before you do. You may be a taxpayer, but you don't own the road and expect others to bow to your needs. And, it goes without saying that if you are drunk, for God's sake throw up on the side of the road. Don't drive. My friend Pam was hit head-on several years ago by a drunk driver. She was in a VW and just two blocks from her home. She broke several bones and had to have reconstructive surgery on her face. The drunk driver was unhurt. My friend Owen reached down to get something and ran into a telephone pole. He was killed. I have had other friends in similar situations. The bottom line here is that we need to pay attention. When I lived in Fort Worth, I was heading toward downtown on a Saturday morning. I was on the freeway, along with many other cars. We were at a speed limit ride, which in Texas means go for it. There are not enough cops in Texas to stop the speeders. So, just ahead of me, a guy decided to change lanes without looking and clipped the fender of the car in the lane he was changing to. Both cars put on their brakes. Everyone behind them jammed on their brakes at once, causing screeching tires, and a lot of smoke, but no one hit anyone else. We all stopped and looked at one another and smiled. Everyone paid attention to their surroundings. After our hearts calmed down, we started up again and moved around the wreck. We all worked together. There is a lesson there. Think about it, and get back to me. I'll be on the phone in the car though, so leave a message.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Art Films

Long before there were DVD's or Cable TV, there were movie theatres showing "art films". These films mainly came from Europe and contained nudity. The adult situations couldn't be compared to today's "adult films", but they were strong enough not to allow children to view. There were a few theatres in Columbia that showed these films, but the main one was the Five Points Theatre on Harden St. These films were shown in the late 1960's at the same theatre that would show childrens summer movies like cowboys and Tarzan. During the summer, parents would drop off their kids to see these movies. Many were sponsored by schools. But, during the fall and winter, this theatre would show art films. My brother was approx. 8 years older than me, so he was in college, when I turned 13. He didn't know it, but I found an old college ID of his. I changed a couple of dates on the ID and put my picture over his, and I was off to the theatre to see the art films. The ID worked, since I had to be over 18 to be admitted. I don't remember all of the titles, but two especially stood out--"I, A Woman" and "Seventeen", which had a tagline "17 for people over 18". It was a coming of age activity for me in my early teens. That is, until two things happened. The first was when I showed up at the Five Points theatre to see a movie and a strange girl was at the box office. I showed my fake ID, and the girl said, "Oh, I know your mother. She teaches me in Sunday School." I about freaked out. I tried to keep my cool, but underneath I was thinking "Busted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I went in that theatre, but I never went back. My mother never said anything, but I figured she knew. The second event was at the Palmetto Theatre downtown. They were showing "Fanny Hill". I went there as a 16 year old, and you needed to be 18 to see it. I began to pull out my fake ID, and the guy at the box office asked for my draft card. My what? I didn't have a draft card. Guys that were 18 had draft cards, and you had to carry it with you wherever you went. He knew that. I told him I left it at home. I didn't have it, and I didn't get it to the theatre. During my fake ID days, I had people tell me I looked young for my age. My stock answer was, "Yes, that's what everybody says." When I finally turned 18 legally, it was kind of anti-climatic. The danger of being discovered was gone. So where the art films. They were replaced by stronger things, but that's another story for another day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Playing Cards

I have an addictive personality. I am addicted to friends now. I have had several addictions in the past. My most notable addiction was to alcohol. When one recognizes one's addiction, one has to change. I changed, so that I know I can't drink again. If I do, there is no telling what might happen to me. Thus, I don't even want cold medicine with alcohol in it. I have been addicted to love, as per the Robert Palmer song. It is very important to me that someone loves me, even though I may be too stupid to recognize it. Addictions are also things for me that are fun, at least at the time. Some things may not be addictions to some, but they are to me. My Mother told me early on that I was addictive. James Bond and The Beatles are addictions. Making video tapes were addictions. Now, I have a bunch of tapes that I need to sell. If you are interested, contact me. One of my addictions was playing cards, aka gambling. When I lived in Texas, a co-worker's husband introduced me to the wonderful world of cards. Every Thursday night, a bunch of us would get together to play poker or blackjack for money. It wasn't a big stakes game, but one could walk away with about $100 at the end of the night. Five card draw, five card stud, seven card cutthroat, aces wild, dueces wild, and more. On one special surprise birthday party there, my girlfriend gave me a money tree with the stipulation that I wouldn't go in the back room, where the game was, carrying the money tree. She said she would never speak to me again. Of course, I did it anyway, and lost it. She and I made up. Kare was a very forgiving person, but she also taught me that I had an addiction. So, I stopped gambling. When Texas Hold'em Poker and Blackjack arrived on cable TV, I was there watching. I could watch without participating, although I yelled at the screen a lot. It was amazing how much satisfaction I could get from that. A couple of days ago, I got a note on Myspace from Konnie to check out Texas Hold'em on Myspace, and I did. I am now addicted to playing online against people all over the world. The best part is that I am playing with fake money, so I don't have to worry about losing my money, but I have found that I am pretty good. The one thing about addiction is that it never leaves you. It may be dormant for years, and then like a volcano, it erupts. Sorry, Kare. But, I am not using my money. Promise.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nine Lives

It is said that some people have nine lives. That is that there are people who cheat death, or should have died but didn't. I don't know how many lives I have, but there were several times that I should have ded, but didn't. This list may not be everything, but it will be indicative:
1. In the motel pool in Oxford Alabama, when I was around 6. My parents had gone into the motel room to answer the phone, and I was in the shallow end. I began walking and dropped off into the deep end. An unknown soldier grabbed me and pulled me out, thus saving me from drowning. We never knew his name.
2. In the 4th grade, when I got double pneumonia. I had a fever of 106 for 3 days. They tried everything to reduce my fever in the hospital from bathing me in ice to rubbing alcohol. After the third day, the fever broke. No brain damage, but my metabolism did speed up.
3. In junior high, I was riding my bike down a steep hill into a road in our neighborhood. I didn't see the car coming, and he swerved just in time.
4. In high school, I tried to kill myself 6 times by pills, suffocation, and a knife. Was unsuccessful.
5. In Texas, I was in a car accident. I was coming off of the freeway, and my brakes locked. I rammed into the car in front of me at a traffic light, but the car absorbed the shock. I was just bruised, but I couldn't drive in rain for a long time, as it happened on a rain-slicked road.
6. At White Oak, when I got locked in the freezer. I should have died there, but prayer saved my life.
7. At Rich's, almost being electrocuted, after I stuck scissors into a light strip that I thought was off, but it blew me across the aisle.
8. Other assorted almost car crashes, including the one recently on I-26, when I was one second away from crashing into a truck.
There could be others, but I am going to stop at 8. I don't want to cheat death again, at least not today. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm Invisible

Have you ever wanted to be invisible? Imagine hearing people what they really think of you. Or see what people really look like. I apparently can become invisible, when I am in my car. I was driving down I-26 last week, when I got to the Peak exit. This exit has a lot of accidents, because it has such a short entrance. A truck, towing a cart, came on the interstate. I was right behind him, and he didn't slow. I had to quickly move into the left lane, which had cars in it, and thankfully I didn't hit anyone, but it was a decision that if I had not made that second, I would be dead now. I wonder why people enter the road in front of me, when there is no one behind me. If they could wait just a bit longer, it would be smooth sailing, but maybe I was invisible. Is it because they are thrill-seekers, or is it because they are blind? Maybe a little bit of both. But, what if I had died but didn't know it? Could there be a parallel universe, where I could be driving my car, and someone is in another universe? I suppose we could find out, if I hit them. Could I use the defense that I thought I was invisible? Yeah, they would put me in a rubber room. Hey, good idea.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Favorite Trips

My friend Mary asked a question yesterday of what was my favorite trip I have ever taken. That was pretty hard, because I have always loved to travel. To experience new things. I like to get to a place, but sometimes the time getting there is more interesting. When I drive from Greenville to Columbia, I go on the country road, rather than the interstate. You can see a lot on a country road, if you have the time to get where you are going. I have lived a rather blessed life, when it comes to travel. My parents saw to that. For example, we went to New Mexico twice, when my father took us to Glorieta, which is just outside Santa Fe. During one trip, we went on to California and Disneyland. Thanks to family trips, I have been to 30 states. It is hard to pick out the best trip. Would be my Europe trip that I took in college? That was the biggest. Would it be my Puerto Rico trip? What about the trip to the World's Fair in New York? Or the trip to Six Flags in St. Louis? Or the trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg? Or the trip to Philadelphia doing puppet shows? Or the trip to Beatlefest in Chicago? There are so many. But, I picked one. It might seem strange, but then I can be strange. It was the trip to Atlanta, when I was in high school. It was a church youth trip. We got kicked out of the Atlantan Hotel for setting a room on fire and having an impromptu parade through the halls at 2am. We went on to Six Flags and crammed 7 people into a log ride made for 4. We hold the world record for that event. After that, they put up signs saying that there could be a maximum of 4 people per log. I guess they didn't like the log almost sinking or flipping over. That trip to Atlanta was a perfect example of my being a kid. Each trip I have taken has had its special qualities. I have such fond memories of wading in mountain streams and being up close to bears. I loved going to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry. I treasure the smell of food cooking in Taos. The list goes on and on, but there are more places to go to. I hope I will find my next favorite place. Let's go.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Community Excuses

We have excuses for everything. No one wants to take personal responsibilites. It is always someone or something at fault. There is a study out now that bullies may have a disorder. Ya think? I was bullied every day for three years. It affected me greatly and almost killed me. Yes, I blame the bullies. I don't blame their brains. I don't blame their environmental situation. I don't blame any water they drank. I blame the bullies. I know that one of them have told me that they regret what he did to me, but there are a few more who haven't. Do they regret what they did to me? Do they even realize what a negative impact they had on my life? I don't suppose I will ever know that for sure, but it came down to the fact that they hated me and felt better for doing harm to me. They didn't know that they had a physical or psychological excuse to beating me up. Oh, it is okay honey to push Walter down three flights of stairs. You have a disorder. Oh, it is okay honey to push Walter over the breezeway into the bushes. You have a disorder. Oh, it is okay honey to hit Walter and bruise his arms. You have a disorder. Everything is an excuse. So, when are people going to step up and say they are wrong? Prisons are full of people who did wrong things. Are we raising a generation of people who can't accept they did bad? Just give them a pill and tell them that they are people too. I don't care who I make mad here. I am going to tell you something that makes me mad. The boys and some girls who did bad things to me during those junior high years affected me greatly and, in large part, negatively. As a Christian, I have learned to forgive them, but I cannot forget. I cannot use them as an excuse for me turning out the way I did. After all, much of my experiences I have used in my acting. People wonder where the powerful performances come from? It is from those years, where that emotion built up in my brain. I found a way to release it. Thanks Paul, Greg, Rhett, Gaines, and others who created me. You may have been monsters. Today, they would just give you a pill and send you on your way. You had an excuse.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Camp Greenville

I think my parents knew I got beat up a lot, when I was in junior high. They just didn't know it happened every day. They also knew that I had some behavioral problems. They put me in Boy Scouts to try and get me with some peers who wouldn't beat me up. Usually, that worked. But, I still had to go to school to get beat up. So, two summers, they sent me to camp. The camp they chose was Camp Greenville, which is located on the border of North and South Carolina in the mountains. Some kids would stay all summer at camp, but I only was there a week. The camp was sponsored by the YMCA, and it actually was very fun. I have a lot of fond memories of Camp Greenville. They have a tall waterfall there, where we could stand under it. They took us hiking, and we played football and baseball. There was one kid from Florida who could throw a baseball from the outfield and hit a stick at home plate. He had a rocket for an arm. I often wondered if he ever played in the majors. I don't remember his name, but he had a buzz cut. Once, they took us to camp overnight in tents in the woods. The next morning, the kids were talking about the mountain lion who came into the camp and clawed the tents. Apparently, it clawed our tent right by my head. I never knew it. I slept right through the excitement. In the camp, there were bunkhouses made with tin roofs. When it rained, it sounded like machine guns on the roof. I learned to sleep with a lot of noises around me. I have already discussed the vision I had at Camp Greenville of Heaven, so I won't talk about it here, but camps are very good for kids. There was a leader of the camp named Monk. He had a lot of interesting stories. One of the more interesting for me was that if you run over a snake with your car, nine times out of ten you will run over the snake's head. Why? Because the snake attacks moving things like tires. Funny how you remember things like that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Next Day

I was thinking, which sometimes is very dangerous, about all of the Presidential elections that I have voted in. The one yesterday was the 10th. You're that old? Yes, but only on my driver's license. I am not going to say who I have voted for, as I believe that is a private matter, but in counting up my votes, I have voted for 4 winners and 6 losers. I don't know if I vote for the underdog, since I can identify with that concept. But, I generally vote for the person I think will make the biggest difference, or the one who is most qualified. The office of the President is in many ways a ceremonial one. He (or she) is there to make the country feel good and secure. As I have said before, it is the Congress that makes the laws. The President can suggest how the Congress should proceed. Mr. Obama got elected by convincing America that he was the change candidate. Maybe he is. Maybe he will get a lot done, especially with a Democrat majority in Congress. A lot of people are cheering today. They are looking forward to change. They are looking forward to a new direction. Will we be disappointed when things don't get done quickly? Will the lobbyists go back to work and help cause things to get bogged down again? Only time will tell. When I met Joe Biden last year, I told him that I worked for McGovern, as he did. He said that was a lonely job. We had a laugh over it. But, in reality, politics can be a very lonely job. Just look at President Bush. It would be nice if we don't have to wait until January 20th, before something gets done. Mr. Bush, you are still President. Be the change President before Mr. Obama gets in. For today, there is a lot of cheering and tears. I hope that there will not be a lot of people copping attitudes. No gloating. Respect the history, though. As a lot of people are recounting Dr. King's "I have a Dream" speech, my dream is that there will be a next day. There can be laughter and tears. There can be happiness and sadness. There can be hope and fear. That is what being an American is all about. But, what happens the next day? May God continue to bless America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Drive By

I have to say up front that I do not think of myself as a stalker. I do care about people, and sometimes that is misinterpreted. I have also loved before. I got to thinking about a modus operanti that I didn't really put together about myself before. That is that I take comfort in connecting with those I care about, even though they may not be there. What do I mean? I go by places that are theirs. It also sheds light on my super shyness. Something that I try to control, but sometimes it just takes over. When I first met Pam, I fell in love. After all, she saved my life. I didn't realize until later that she was a catalyst, but at the time my brain equated her with my life. I was in high school. No girl had ever taken a real interest in me, since elementary school. I had started driving a car. She walked to and from school, which was about a mile from her house. That was before kids taking the bus everywhere. It was also not the same school as me. I would figure out when she would be walking home, and then catch a glimpse of her. I also knew where she lived, so I would ride by her house. A few times, she would see me, and ask what I was doing in her neighborhood. I was just say that I was riding around. Nevermind that my neighborhood was a couple of miles away. When I was in Texas, I had a car, but I walked everywhere. Kare's house was a block out of the way from the road I would walk from my dorm to the mall. I would take it. When she would see me and ask what I was doing on her road, I would say that it was safer than the main road. She didn't believe me, as she knew I cared for her. But, it sounded good. You see, I make excuses for my shyness. I guess I should be honest. If I was totally honest with Kare, I think I would still be with her, but I couldn't truly express my feelings. I did the same with Debbie and Wanda. I just wanted to feel close without making a committment. I don't consider it stalking, because they were my friends and knew that I cared about them. Can I say "love" instead of "care"? Sorry. It is actually the same for me. I still care. If you see me riding by your house, please don't be scared. The word "care" is inside the word "scare". Let me be scared.

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Day

Being a news junkie, this has seemed like a neverending story. It is the story of a man named Obama, and his next door neighbor named McCain. The two knew each other pretty well, but wasn't too fond of each other. Obama invited a man named Joe to move in with him. This made McCain madder, and he found a woman named Sarah from a place no one had heard of before to move in with him. McCain's wife was not jealous. So, they had a good time, you betcha. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama and Joe found that more people liked them than Mr. McCain and Sarah. At least, that is what they thought. They won't know for sure until after tomorrow. You see, the whole country gets to decide which household gets to move into a much bigger house, which is white. Mr. Obama has two small children. Mr. McCain's children are mostly grown, except for a 15-year old girl. For those of us old enough to remember the Kennedy children, we remember how alive that big white house was with little children running around. It was very sad though, when their Daddy went away, and didn't come back. I hope that if Mr. Obama wins tomorrow that his children have fun and are not sad. I hope that if Mr. McCain wins, Sarah won't come over much. She will need to go back to school for a few years. And, whatever happens tomorrow, I just hope that the rest of the neighborhood will stay together. So, make a decision tomorrow and vote. Who will be better for the country? Don't be afraid. And my one wish for the country--I hope that Mr. Nader won't show up. Al Gore hopes so, too.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Political Ads

In about two days, we will go to the polls and vote. A lot of people have already voted, but I am a traditionalist, and I will vote on Tuesday. I know how I will vote in most races, but not all, including the big one. I keep going back and forth. I may just flip a coin, and I know that is not the way it should be. You should be passionate about who you vote for. It should be a time for a new direction. Unfortunately, since there is no incumbent, both main candidates are looking at a new direction. But, I just wanted to take a moment to discuss political commercials. Of course, everyone has seen the national ads. They are everywhere. One thing you immediately notice is they don't talk about themselves. They say bad things about their opponent. I guess they divert the attention away from themselves, since they have little to say about themselves. You may not know this about campaigns, but every real campaign has handlers. These are people who frame the message of the candidate. Very few candidates write their own speeches. These people look at polls and target audiences, and then frame the candidate's message. I knew a guy who was the main handler for the first President George Bush. He was known for shaping ads to make his candidate look good in comparison to his opponent, who was dirt. The country elected Bush, because they didn't want to vote for the other guy. If the candidate fears he or she is going to lose, they lash out at their opponent and say just about anything, short of accusing them of murder. Although, I think some candidates have done that before in their ads. The problem is that you can say just about anything about your opponent, and then your opponent has to defend themselves and get off of their own message. If you ever had questions about evolution, look at what happens to a dog, when he is threatened, and then look at a political candidate, when they are attacked. It is the same reaction. When I lived in Texas, those candidates were brutal, when they referred to their opponents. My favorite was a radio ad that I heard. The man said that his opponent was "no good". I think that sums it up. He didn't have to give specifics. All he had to say was he is "no good". I wish our guys today can be that honest. Who cares if a candidate voted with Bush 90% of the time? Maybe he is a Republican, as Bush is. Who cares if a candidate knows a "domestic terrorist"? Maybe he was just there. Just say that you are going to make our lives better, which you can't do without Congress, and say the other candidate is "no good".

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What If

First of all, I want to give a shout-out to Thomas. Thanks for being here. Okay, on driving back to Columbia yesterday afternoon, my brother posed a question. "What if we had not moved to SC from New Orleans?" How would our life be different? So, I got to thinking. First of all, we Americans are a mobile people. We move around. If it weren't for movers, everyone would have settled on the East Coast and not ventured west. In some cases, like my ancestors, they moved inland to try their hand at growing things like canabis. I don't suppose that would be a legal argument today, but it is worth a try. So, we moved. When I was born in New Orleans, my father taught at New Orleans Baptist Seminary. My brother was in elementary school. When I was 5, and he was 12, we moved to South Carolina. I know Daddy wanted to move back to South Carolina, since he was from there, and he wanted to be closer to his family. But, it was traumatic for my brother and me. He had to say goodbye to his school friends, knowing he would never see them again. I had to say goodbye to my next door neighbor Paul Price. I have often wondered what happened to Paul. I saw my first egg hatching at Paul's house. I guess it was my first exposure to sex education. When it was time for me to choose a college to go to, my first thought was Tulane or LSU-NO, which is now New Orleans University. But, it was decided that I go to a school in-state, as it was cheaper. But, what if we had never moved to SC? Because of my father being a Baptist educator and minister, we probably would have moved somewhere else. Daddy was sought after for his work. Who knows where we would have ended up? After all, before New Orleans, they had been in Spartanburg, Asheville, Richmond, Atlanta and Houston. And that was all in 13 years. But, I do know that Katrina wiped out our house on Seminary Place in New Orleans, so hopefully we would have not had to experience that awful situation. I would just assume not to deal with any more hurricanes. I have been in too many. Every person goes down their path. Some of those paths are determined by their parents. Others are determined by their jobs. Still others are determined by their families. My path is still fluid. Hopefully, I will be going down a easterly path soon. But, as to conclude this rambling thought today in thinking about "what if", I would never have met my friends--Aubrey, Joni, Del, Chris, Konnie, Jimmy, Mary, Sonny, Pam, Peggy, Ne'cole, Richard, Lenny, Sandra, Talula, Louis, Steve, Judy, Paige, Vicki, Phil, Don, Ginger, James, Tommy, Thom, Mary Ann, Nathan, Payton, Buddy, Melissa, Cathy, Kare, Wanda, Rick, Hank, Craig, and so many more. I am so glad we moved. Sorry, Paul. I hope your life turned out okay.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Funeral

Today was a very long day. I got down to Columbia yesterday and spent the night at my brother's house. He and I left this morning to go to Charleston for my Aunt's funeral. It was at Sullivan's Island Baptist Church. There was a good crowd, and I was glad to see my cousins again. It is a pity, though, that the only time we see each other is at funerals or weddings. There is a wedding in the family in January, so maybe we will all get together again then. We have a big family of cousins, mostly living in the Charleston area. The funeral lasted an hour at the church. It seemed a little too long, but it was nice. We then went by motorcade to the cemetery in Mount Pleasant. I really got turned around, but thankfully my brother drove, and he followed the other cars. I think we would still be driving around, if we didn't follow others. The cemetery service was short and sweet. We then headed to my cousin William's house for lunch. The spread of food was fantastic. And very good. John and I left around 2pm, so we could get back to Columbia, and I could go on to Greenville. My car acted up on the way back here. I hope I don't have to get it fixed again. Mainly since I can't afford it now. I am pretty tired now, but I am very glad I went. As I said yesterday, Aunt Lib was the last one of my Aunts and Uncles. She raised some wonderful people. A quality of Dursts.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Aunt Lib

I suppose it is unusual for four aunts to die so close to one another. Two of my aunts on my mother's side--Aunt Becky and Aunt Gladys; and two on my father's side--Aunt Grace and Aunt Lib. Aunt Lib died yesterday, just three days before her 100th birthday. She lived in Mount Pleasant, SC. Her husband was my Uncle George, who was my father's brother. He was the doctor for Sullivan's Island, and my cousin George inherited the business. Uncle George and Aunt Lib had 3 sons and a daughter. Aunt Lib had been ill in recent years, and it is truly a blessing that she has gone one to reunite with Uncle George and the rest of her peers in Heaven. But, it is also something that we, as cousins, need to reflect on now. With the passing of Aunt Lib, we no longer have any living Uncles or Aunts, as well as Mothers or Fathers. She was the last one. We just have us--the cousins. I am the youngest of the first cousins, which I guess says something about the ages of those older than me. I suppose some of them would take exception to my characterizing them as old, so I won't say that. After all, my cousin William is only less than a year older than me. As I said at Aunt Grace's funeral in Atlanta this summer, the Durst wives were very strong women. They had to be, because they were married to Durst men. They all had character and knew what they wanted to do. Aunt Lib's legacy is four successful and educated children. She insisted on their education came first. She loved the water, and she loved God. May we all draw from her strength in the days ahead. Thank you, Aunt Lib, for being gracious and caring. And, may God bless our family during these days and the days ahead.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Guy Manual

I am going to tell you a secret. If you are a woman, this may be a surprise to you, especially since you have never seen it, but it exists. It is The Guy Manual. It is how guys know what to do or act. We don't usually share it with women, but it supports our actions. I cannot share everything in the manual, as some things need to be kept secret, but I can share some things.
1. We don't need to ask directions--when we are driving and looking for that special place, we don't need a map or GPS. We can just drive around, and we will eventually find it. How do we do this? We were in the Boy Scouts, and we know where the sun is in relation to where we are.
2. We don't need to look at a manual to put something together--we are smart enough to know if there is a screw and a nut, and then see a hole with grooves, then the screw goes in the hole. Besides, those directions are usually written in another language we can't read anyway, and the drawing looks nothing like the item.
3. We have eyes--if a pretty girl walks by, we are going to look at her. The woman may look at what the girl is wearing, but we can't tell you those details.
4. We are going to drive fast--that's okay, because we want to get home to you. And, if you believe that, I have some land to talk to you about on the coast in the water with a beautiful view of the ocean.
5. We will be your slave--because we want you to believe that we care.
There are more items in the manual. If you are a woman, don't try to look for the manual in our stuff. We read it, memorized it, and then burned it. No evidence.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Store

Today is the grand opening of Simple Pleasures. It is a collectibles store in Simpsonville, and there is nothing like it in South Carolina. Not in Charleston or Columbia. Not in Aiken or Greenville. Why? Because it has things that no one else is offering. Like what? It has jewelry from the far corners of the world. It has things from Nepal and South America. Since most people can't afford to go there, the store has brought it to you. It has unusual candles and creams. There are gifty things that would be great for Christmas. There are one-of-a-kind lamps, including Dale Tiffany pieces. There are framed color photos from around South Carolina, including the mountains and the beach. And, my contribution to the store--my autograph collection. The autographs include musicians, movie stars, sports, politics, world leaders, and more. Some are framed, but most are not. A few are pre-prints, but most are signed in-person. Some are also inscribed, which adds to the legit nature of the autographs. Many are vintage autographs. This store, with its many parts, is a perfect place to come for that special Christmas gift that you can be assured that no one else has. If you want your loved one to have something unique and different, this is the place for you. It is located in downtown Simpsonville at 104 West Curtis Street, right across from the clock tower. Come and see. You will be amazed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

James Bond

I have written some about my love for everything James Bond. The movies, the books, the posters, the toys, the autographs, the music, whatever else. I have seen all the movies, most of them multiple times. I can quote dialogue. I can tell you what the names of the actors are, even the minor characters. I know some of the bloopers from the films. I have won trivia contests. I just love James Bond. For example, do you know who the first James Bond was on screen? Barry Nelson played him in a TV production of "Casino Royale" in the late 1950's. My favorite actor was Sean Connery. Everyone has their favorite, I guess, but Connery was tough who didn't take himself too seriously. Roger Moore started off very good, but he had two problems. One was the movies became something of a comic strip. The scripts were a little too fantastic. Who thinks that Bond could actually fly a space shuttle? The other problem was age. Toward the end of his tenure, he just couldn't keep up with the action. If you look at "View to a Kill", it is too obvious that a younger man was doing his stunts. Connery used a stunt man too, but at least he looked like Connery. George Lazenby played Bond in "OHMSS". Despite being Australian, I thought he did a good job. That film still makes me cry. Timothy Dalton brought a toughness to the part. He did a good job, especially in "Licence to Kill". I would have liked to have seen him go further. Then came Brosnan. I liked him okay, but I had a problem watching him run. I guess I am a little picky here, but he just had problems running. Of his films, my favorite was "The World is Not Enough". Now, there is Daniel Craig. The jury is still out on him. They say the new film is great. We will see on November 14th. As for my favorite, it is hard to say, because each one has its own merits, but I would go with "Goldfinger". Maybe "You Only Live Twice". Or "The Spy Who Loved Me". What about...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nice Day

In my otherwise boring life, I treasure those times that give me a nice day. Without sounding too down, the reason that I liked working in retail was because every day was different. If you were lucky, you could say that every minute was different. I have had jobs that were very rigid and was the same. You had to do stuff to humor yourself just to stay sane. For example, when I worked in a vault at a bank, it was an 8-hour job, but I did something only twice a day, so there was a lot of down time. I read books and listened to music. When I worked for the Census, we processed forms all day long. I ended up looking for weird names, just to keep my mind busy. I need a job to keep my mind busy, just in case you are out there. So, yesterday was such a day. I went by my Best Bud's house. Joni and I spent some time at her house. Her father came over, and I got to talk to him for a few minutes. He is nice. Then, Joni and I went out to Columbiana Center for a shopping spree. It was fun to get out with her and with other people. I had forgotten how busy a mall could be. Columbia Mall used to be that way, before it turned into a ghetto mall. After about 4 hours with her, we said our goodbyes, and I headed on back to Greenville. It is great to see the leaves change. I think it is my favorite time of year. Except for the Laurens County deputy that got behind me and followed me for 10 miles, everything else yesterday was nice. You don't dare going over the speed limit, and I didn't. Don't give him an excuse. So, Joni. Thanks for a nice day. No, my arms aren't too sore today. I'll be your slave any day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Interview

Well, I got to Columbia in the pouring rain. And, yes, without working windshield wipers. If you are ever in that situation, Rain-X works very well. So, I got to Columbia Mall and got to see some friends. Then, I had the interview with Sears. I thought it went pretty well. There are two jobs available. The first is in TV's. That is straight commission. That is like walking a tightrope without a net. I would love to work in TV's, but I also would like to know that I am getting paid and how much. The other was in Tools, Lawn Care and Sporting Goods. The lady asked me if I knew anything about that stuff. I sold Sporting Goods years ago, and I also knew the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver. That job is a hourly rate plus commission. This interview was the first one, and then they said there would be call-backs in a couple of weeks with the job starting November 15th. I really would like something that I can depend on financially, but we will see what happens. I have put in so many applications and expressed interest in others that I have lost count, so hopefully someone will take a chance on me. I then went to the old apartments, where I used to live--Ravenwood. The manager was excited that I might move back there. Then, I went to my brother's house and reported on my day. Then, I met Del for dinner at Richland Mall. If I move back, he will be my roommate, maybe. Then, I spent the night with thankfully no fire alarm at 4am. But, I woke up at 4am anyway. One curse of wearing glasses is misreading my watch. I thought it said 7, but it was upside down. I am going back to Greenville probably later this afternoon. I know that there are a lot of layoffs around the country, but surely somebody needs me. Do you?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Needing Help

I need help. We all need help. I try and not be so self-centered, because quite frankly it makes me mad that some people are just out for themselves and do not see others. There may be others very close to you that need help, but you have your blinders on and don't want to be bothered. Maybe you are just too cold. I used to be that way, but when I needed help, things changed. My life changed. I became a survivalist. There are people in my family, and some former friends, who think of me as a beggar. They don't like beggars. But, I am so close to being homeless, it isn't funny. So, what is the reality? Here we go. I have very little money, and I don't have a job. I am going to Columbia today to see if Sears will hire me and pay a decent wage. It is going to be raining, and my windshield wipers don't work. Is that dedication or just being stupid? I guess it depends on your point of view. My roommate informed me that my living situation in Greenville may come to an end at the end of the year. Without a job, I just try to survive. I am selling some stuff on the internet, and my autograph collection is in a store in Simpsonville. With hopes that some will sell, but it is not a done deal. Nothing in my life is a done deal. I suffer from depression, but I try to keep my head above water. If I do move back to Columbia, which looks like I will, how can I afford a place to stay? Maybe a roommate. Someone who I know. No serial killers nor smokers. Some place that won't cost much. I need a job that I can make a living. Where I don't have to ask others for help. It is the worst think for me to ask others for help. Some have been very nice and helped me. I guess they saw something in me that I didn't deserve. I need a newer car. Despite taking it to the shop 3 times, it still doesn't run right. Hopefully, it will take me to Columbia today. It won't last much longer. It will turn 20 next year, but I am afraid it won't see that birthday. Without cash or credit, how am I going to be able to afford a car? Without a job or a place to live, will I become one of our nation's homeless? I am becoming pretty desperate. I believe in prayer. I know God will provide, but God needs his people to help him help others. I pray that someone will help me. I need help.