Archive for January, 2006

Improvisation at its funniest

DSU’s improvisational comedy troupe, Comedy Bytes had rehearsal tonight. I know what you’re thinking, “Improvisation can be rehearsed?” Yes, it can. And it must. There’s a technique to improvised comedy. I am not skilled in it, but I know that it exists. I see it in others. I am good at laughing; which in turn lets the audience know when something is funny. Yet, that technique still must be practiced and hopefully perfected in order to perform an improvised show. This is why we rehearse. And still, it is a scary time being on stage in front of a crowd, and having no idea where the next 90 minutes will take you. I think every person should experience this horror at some point in their lives.

Comedy Bytes' dating gameIn any case, President Knowlton has asked the group to travel to area High Schools and perform written sketches and improvised bits for the purpose of achieving two goals. 1) To promote DSU as being hip. 2) To not promote drugs, intolerance, inappropriate internet usage, etc. as being hip. Both are very challenging. Not in the sense that they aren’t true. But for goodness’ sake, we are a comedy troupe discussing serious issues. How do you tastefully do that? To top it off, this man donates things to us from his own pocket. So even if we didn’t want to do it, we are obligated to do these things. He also performed with us last spring, so there’s kinship mixed in with all this as well. Thus, Sue said we’d be ready by February 14th to travel to schools. That gives us one more week. Things did not look up for a while.

Then, Miles ingeniously wrote a sketch entitled, Sonny Silverman, Life Extender. We sight-read the script tonight and it was a huge hit with the cast. It encourages me to want to end my drug usage. However, I will not discuss its contents for many reasons. Perhaps it will be performed when we do our spring show and you all can see it for yourself. He also is in the midst of writing a couple other sketches, but those are his to choose to reveal. I call them sketches, not skits. I think I get that from Saturday Night Live. He does a very good job of keeping it hilarious while getting the overall point across. I am very impressed with his talents. All in all, things will turn out OK with Comedy Bytes. We seem to pull through; no matter how many unfortunate things occur. Over the past semester, we have lost a total of 5 members of the troupe for various reasons. Ouch. There are now a whopping six of us. So, here’s hoping that things don’t completely bomb with High School traveling.

I can now say I have watched all three The Lord of the Rings movies and not be lying. It’s a good feeling to finally…feel. And I’m exhausted. And completely broke. I don’t have an Orlando Fund anymore, but you can still send me hypothetical donations via the comments page. Nikki Duffy, if you’re reading this, I probably won’t be bowling this week. Unrelated, I’ve got a busy week ahead of me still.

The Drama Club is selling live greeting cards, called Love Out Loud (lol) for Valentine’s Day. For the few days preceding the holiday, we’ll have a booth set up in the TC to sell the live-action Mad Lib-able poems that students and faculty members can send to their sweeties on that special day for only $2.00. A member or a couple members of the club will then deliver and hilariously perform the card to the person at a specific place and time on the 14th, determined by the sender. Hopefully it catches on and people are interested in it. I will spend the next couple of days trying to make up a decent poster to promote it, as well as getting necessary permission to do such a fundraiser. Here’s hoping we make more than $4.00.

Fellowship of the Two Towers…?

Currently reading: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown; The Book of Galatians

It’s not good for a worrier to need to be at work at 5:00 AM. I’ve basically been awake since 2:33, afraid I will not hear my alarm go off. Then I come to KJAM and have to keep the front door locked until its daylight, just because who knows who could be out there.


This may come as a shock to all, but until this weekend, I had never seen any Lord of the Rings movies. Starting Friday, Miles and I ventured into the unknown to watch all three extended versions. As you can tell by my title, the first two really have just blurred into one seriously long film. But one seriously good film. Today at some point, we will be watching the third and final. I tend to find things funny in the movie that apparently aren’t meant to be comedic. I think I just see the lighter side of everything. I foresee us also watching the special features DVDs in the very near future.

I’m not sure how long these extended versions are supposed to be, but for us they tend to be darn near 5 hours. Because of many unexpected distractions, it makes watching these movies very difficult. I will name a few of these disturbances: eating, me asking lots of questions and Miles pausing the movie and explaining everything (if you know Miles, you know how long that could take), and random visits from two of my future roommates Kensi and Sara.

Message from Kensi and SaraSara, Kensi, and Danielle. Those girls. If you check out the picture I’ve posted, you’ll see what I have to look forward to. They can’t even spell “disturb”. Oh, but as much as I like to poke fun, we’re going to have a good time next year. Who else would play London Bridge is Falling Down incorrectly? Who else would spend a significant amount of time brainstorming ideas on how to transport objects with a slinky? Who else would obsess about swoop bangs? I tell you, no one.

Big week ahead of me. I’ll be finishing up my first Daktronics project, bidding on the Angels and Demons audiobook (there’s no way I’ll ever find time to read it), writing my first paper for the semester, attending a scholarship banquet, celebrating Groundhog Day, and heading to Miles’ hometown; all while saving the world. Good news: I’m not on weekend duty again until March 17th.

OK, bye bye!

Fond Memories of Willis the Dog

Currently reading: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown; The Book of Galatians

In my Composition II class discussion with Dr. Blessinger, he brought up a good point. We often look at pictures and our minds fill in how the characters in the photos interact, or how the story went.Holli and Willis We will see pictures of ourself as a child and will think, “I remember that”, when in all actuality you remember what you may have been told about it or what your mind has made up to fill in the blanks. This post is based on the events of what I think happened, prior to this picture.

On the date this picture was snapped, I was around the age of three or four. Marissa would not have been born yet. We had a dog, his name was Felix (in honor of Dad’s college nickname, which is still only used by two people, who we see maybe once a year.) Yet, Adam and I often wanted a dog. We seemed to not notice Felix, ever. I think it was because Felix wasn’t much of a family dog, the kids never played with him. And as a youngster, I was afraid of dogs. Go figure. Still, I whined to Mom about wanting to take a dog for a walk. Being as creative, and deceiving as she was, she gave me Willis.

Oh the fond memories I have of Willis and I taking long walks around the neighborhood, rolling in mud, playing fetch. Typical things kids do with dogs. I finally felt like I had achieved what I was looking for: a loyal pal to be with me to the very end.

The memories grow dim here. Somewhere along the lines, Willis and I were separated. We haven’t seen each other since this snapshot. I see a faint resemblance of ketchup and pickle relish, and the smell of charcoal has always made me feel deathly ill. I wonder where Willis is now…

“You’ve been up since WHEN?”

AM 1390 StudioI work part-time for KJAM radio in Madison, since January 2005. They play Country on the FM and Soft Rock on the AM. Most Sundays I come to the KJAM Radio station near 5:00am to run the morning show until noon on the AM. FM just runs on its own from Friday night until Monday morning. Sunday mornings are to be our Christian show. Basically, I’ll play music (I pick it from a playlist when I come at five), give the weather forecast and current conditions, latest news and sports, happenings around town and such. Then after doing that for almost four hours, I play sermon recordings from area churches. I’ve been coming in on some Sunday mornings since the beginning of October and have developed quite an annoyance for some things. And so begins my list of:

Things that really bother me on Sunday mornings at KJAM

Callers phone in with the question, “Can you tell me what time it is?”

I can’t find The Star Spangled Banner CD anywhere.

Someone calls to ask what the DQ Secret Word of the Day is, when they know fully well I will tell them to listen to the radio for it.

I receive more than two calls to wish the same person Happy Birthday.

I always get the chair wheel caught in the huge hole in the chair mat.

People fail to bring in their recording of today’s sermon and I am forced to play the recording from the previous week.

The phone rings 25 seconds before I plan to go on air and the caller talks slow.

I lose my train of thought while on air because my brain is trying to figure out what is coming up in the next hour.

We play Christian music that isn’t good. Some isn’t even Christian, just somewhat clean. Chicago’s Will You Still Love Me? That is no Sanctus Real or Remedy Drive, my friends. I’m working on getting some real Christian music in there, but I’m not for sure on licensing rules and the like. Needless to say, there are a couple good songs. These people don’t know Christian music and that the right songs can make Ben Heinrichs rock so hard, he’ll give himself a black eye. (True story!) It doesn’t have to be boring.

Using old equipment. See the picture above of the AM station I am sitting in as I write this.

The people who listen are no younger than 40 years old. That’s probably why none of my Christian music will end up on the air.

I forget I have the headphones around my neck and I get up to go somewhere.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job here and am glad I have given the former Sunday morning DJ a break most weeks; but it really can get boring and monotonous after a couple hours. So I read everyone’s posts while the songs play and I’m off air; and write my own posts. I even do a lot of homework. And to think, I’d be sleeping otherwise…..!

OK, bye bye!

Pierre Won…me over

Currently reading: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown; The Book of Isaiah

Sunrise 3 Well, I made it to and from Pierre safely on Tuesday/Wednesday. I gave a framed graphic I made stating, “I love Iowa” to Representative Val Rausch. It’s probably the best thing he owns right now. Miles gave me a tour of the capital and showed me what he does each day. It was nice for a mental image to match with his stories. It happened to be the day Madison was hosting the SD Legislature, so there were many familiar faces in town. They held a banquet that night, which Miles and I attended. We talked with DSU faculty we knew, such as Dr. Cecelia Wittmayer (VP of academic affairs); Steve Shirley (VP of student affairs); and Dr. Douglas Knowlton (President of DSU). It was a very good time.

There was a display of DSU stuff that we checked out (2006 is DSU’s 125th Anniversary). Amongst the things, was a display of Coca-Cola cans that had the 125th Anniversary logo on them! Steve Shirley said they were going to be distributed in the area to get DSU’s name out there. He also threatened me to not speak a word of it before Thursday at 12:30. He said Jen and Miles were safe because they won’t be back at school. Miles said he planned to blog about it that very night. Steve didn’t believe him. Oh, Steve…

At the celebration today for the anniversary, Steve mentioned that a few people were sworn to secrecy. It felt like he looked right at me. Afterward, he told me, “Good job.” I guess I’m the best secret keeper ever. There are 12,000 12-packs produced with the DSU Anniversary logo on the cans, being distributed through February. They will be distributed in the Madison and Sioux Falls markets, Southwestern Minnesota, and Northwestern Iowa. They are in the regular red 12-pack boxes (no special marking on the outside to distinguish it as DSU’s). So I guess it’s just the luck of the draw as to if you get a DSU 12-pack or a regular 12-pack. There’s also Olympic ones out too; don’t get those.

I made it back in town with two minutes to make it to Intro to Literature. Blessinger makes it very interesting, I have him for Composition II as well. I also had Technical Publishing with Laflin, who is in love with me. I went downtown to KJAM to pick up my schedule for the week. As I walked in the door, both the DJ on the AM side and the secretary looked as if they’d just seen a ghost. They said they were within 30 seconds of calling my cell phone. DJ Corey was very sick and couldn’t stay anymore and they wanted to know if I had time to take over until 5:00. I had time, so I spent a couple hours there DJing the AM. I had a Trivia Question for some casserole dish from Betty Crocker. And I also had a giveaway for two coupons good for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonald’s. For that, I told them they had to call in and tell the secretary “I’m luvin’ it!”. No one called, though! I was supposed to take them if no one called in, but I forgot that until right now. By the way, I woke up this morning with a stuffed, sneezing nose and a horribly sore throat. Kill Corey. HajiAnd the microphone from which I caught it. Then I went to make sure Haji wasn’t dead. Indeed, she was alive and not mad to see me.

Today I had Web Pub II with Weinstein. What a quirky guy. I can’t help but laugh at him in class. But it should be interesting. We need to maintain and style a blog for one of our assignments. After class, Steve Bartel asked me to be his guinea pig for something in Emry. He doesn’t want me to advertise about it…but if you ever stop by my room, you’ll know what it is. Seeing as I’m an RA, I doubt it will be kept secret very well. But it does mean sunny days are in Emry’s future. That’s all I have to say about that.

Composition II was with Blessinger again and seems like it will be a blast. Left for the day is Digital Photography II. Should be a good time. And a good semester. No band today. Lots of reading to do, though.

OK, bye bye!