Gexx in Knoxville

This blog is about Gexx, in Knoxville

Day 19… been having fun…

Posted by Gexx on May 24, 2008

27 – New Wine
Stonehaus Winery – Davenport Red (1/20)
Stonehaus Winery is based in Crossville, TN right next to I-40. It’s one of the many wineries in East/Central Tennessee. With our mountains, we have many many slopes with varied conditions – able to support myriad variety of grapes.
Davenport Red is a semi-sweet red wine made from concord grapes. I’ve taken to drinking my wine from a rocks glass, as I’m normally doing other things while drinking, and this time I was playing Wii. Anyway, this wine was served slightly chilled, as it was in my trunk and the day was somewhat cool. It was deliciously fruity – very GRAPEY, a trait I don’t normally find in wine and honestly never expected. Very very full mouthed, not acidic, few tannins, no leather, aprocot, or floral notes. It tasted like GRAPE… it blows my mind. It was sweeter than I would normally have put with food, but it was recommended for pairing with Italian dishes. Good thing the liquer store near my house sells this too… we can experiment.

36 – Ride my bike…
I’m not sure if this counts, as my initial goal for 36 seems to imply transportation over recreation. This weekend, however, Aaron and I decided to take our bikes out. Mine had been out only a few times since I got it in 2004 and his not much since he got it in the last month. So, we looked up some local greenways and found one near his house. We ended up going about 6 miles roundtrip uphill, downhill, uphill again, and then back again. The furthest point of our trip was on a promentory in a Wildlife Management Area looking over the river. Very very pretty.

48 – Fight Club
Chuck Pahlaniuk – Fun book review 4/30
In my freshman year in college, my college roommate watched Fight Club at least once each week. I haven’t seen it in a few years, though, so when I saw it on Aaron’s bookshelf during my raid, I snagged it. It wasn’t long, only about 200 pages, so it was a quick read. I finished it in less than a day.

It follows the general themes of the movie. Certain developments, however, were much better. The movie, I felt, was logical… well, logical enough. The book, however, was so much better.

Pahlaniuk, for example, explains the incidents leading up to Durdan’s employment to a much better level. The narrator’s office life, also, was much more detailed.

Books and movies have always been an odd compromise for me. To simply write a description… and to *show* a scene… and then to FILM… all very different arts. Very different expectations.

Clive Barker – Fun Book Review 5/30
Aaron has almost a whole bookshelf full of Clive Barker. So I asked “If I were to read Clive Barker, what would be a good one to start with?” He responded imediately “Imajica” Now, this isn’t an actual review as well… it’s really long. So long that when Imajica was published in paperback, clive Barker realized the type was too small and the book much much to large. So… it is two 500+ page paperbacks. I finished the first in a few days. I’ll read the second within the next bit and write its review.

Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman – Fun Book Review 6/30

Neil Gaiman is a great story teller. He weaves componants together well. His descriptions and method of *showing* are masterful.

His plot, however, is almost always the same. A slightly unsure “everyperson” finds himself involved in a situation which seems above his ability. At the end, he rises to the situation, often with a Messianic near death/rebirth phase. This theme is seen in the Sandman comics, American Gods, Neverwhere, and now in Anansi Boys.

Anansi Boys plays off of the main theme of American Gods. In AG, old world gods tried to gain followers in America. Here, Anansi, the trickster/spider of west Africa, dies in a Karaeoke bar in Florida. It’s in the first few pages, I’m not telling you anything spoiling. So then his son Charles (Charles Nancy) deals with the death of his estranged father, which includes the discovery of a brother named Spider. Charles had no idea his father was Anansi, he never ever knew that magic occured.

King Solomon’s Mines
H. Rider Haggard – Fun Book Review 7/30

I have been “reading” KSM for a few months now. I acquired it through libravox (, a site which provides mp3 and ogg audio book files of public domain or creative commons literature. The readers are volunteers, so the quality sometimes leaves one desiring.

There is normally some amount of hype about these “Classics,” and I had wanted to read KSM for a while. The plot is basic: Alex Quartermain, gentleman adventurer/hunter/explorer, is included on a hunt for another gentleman’s brother, who had been searching for King Solomon’s Mines. He goes on the adventure, they almost die innumerable times, and eventually he succeeds. The reader knows that Quartermain will live, as he tells you at the beginning.

The fun, though, is the author’s narrative style. Quartermain is a rough, gruff, adventurer, but the narrative and dialogue are so… proper. The juxtaposition and the story told are interesting. Haggard’s depiction of the “noble savage” irks me also… but that’s just my whole anthopology background coming out.

William Kennedy – Fun Book Review 8/30

I read Kennedy first after having left Albany, ironic, I know. Roscoe is written like Kennedy’s other novels. Albany is a boys club of politics. No one is trusted, sex drives are high, and the good guy doesn’t win. In this novel, Kennedy follows Roscoe, boss of the Albany Democratic Party, through the suicide of Elisha, one of Roscoe’s friends, the Luitenant Governer of New York , and the father of the mayor of Albany. The plot of Roscoe protecting Elisha’s estate serves more as a matrix for other anecdotes of Roscoe’s past… and the past of the other characters who inhabit Kennedy’s Albany: Mac and O.B., cops who executed Jack “Legs” Diamond; Hattie and Mame, women who operate “real estate” and “boarding houses”; chicken fighters; and the elite Fitzgibbons. Colorful, tragic, hopeful, gritty… Kennedy writes well.

47- See a movie without hesitating.
Iron Man – Aaron suggested Iron Man, and while I may have technically hesitated as I wasn’t feeling well, we grabbed some food and I was feeling much better. So then we went. Yay!

70 – COMPLETION The other week the Post Office did a food collection. I took two bags, the one they provided and another, and filled them. One was filled with the stuff justin left behind: saurkraut, fruit salad, hamburger helper, and peas. The other was filled with stuff they might actually want: raisins, mac and cheese, green beans, corn, pasta, and sauce.

88 – Identify 100 things that make me happy
Senor Taco (3/100)

Senor Taco is a local Mexican joint. I would liken it to “Al’s” in “Happy Days” or “The Maxx” in “Saved by the Bell.” The servers know us, we know people there, the food is good, its cheap, and you can ‘t go without seeing atleast one other colleague / department member.
It won the Metropulse’s 2008 award for best Mexican food and best Cheap Meal. The Chili Rellenos are awesome, food specials are regularly quality, and Monday… Monday!! Monday are 2 for 1 margarita nights.
Senor Taco was there during a formative period in my life. This period includes Eric, who encouraged my attendance. When I told Justin to leave, and when he finally left, I moped. Eric, a friend of a friend who I had just met, told me I had to go to Sr. Taco with him one day. Then he called me up a few days later. And then again. I went to Sr. Taco with him atleast twice a week, drinking margaritas, talking to someone NOT in the department, and getting a realistic, non pandering look back at me.
After this, Sr. Taco became the spot where I would meet up with people: cheap food, good service, good drinks. It is where we start our nights out. It is where we get together after class, where we run to after a rough day. Everyone knows how to get there, and everyone can find something they like.
It is a place to meet with friends. It makes me smile.

Writing and Recieving Letters and Postcards(4/100)

I am notoriously horrible when it comes to writing letters. I’ll talk someone’s ear off, but to sit and write to that person I fail. So I’m normally on the recieving end of this, and I know how great it makes me feel. I often end up with postcards from friends who have moved or are traveling. They’re such a surprise to get in the mail. When I was a camp councilor, I would get letters from friends, Kazen sent me a few as did my Latin Teacher. I am going to make an effort to write some letters this year, even as extended greetings on Christmas Cards.
When I force myself to actually take the time to do it, I enjoy writing letters and post cards. I just continue to lack the motivation… something I keep working on.

94, 96: I changed goal 94. While Amphibian Ark is a good group: official, has a plan, all of that. I decided I would rather my money go to Safe Haven Sexual Assault Crisis Center, our local domestic/sexual abuse shelter organization. They provide a safe house for abuse victims, nurses and advocates for doctor appointments and legal cases, and therapists for residual meetings.
I feel that this local organization needs support more than my loved frogs.

This will also be the organization for number 96.

95: Kazen commented that 95 was rather … ambitious. While it might *seem* that way… keep in mind that I will re-evaluate what has not been done. After 500 days, if all goes smoothly I may be looking at heading out of Tennessee. It depends on the thesis and the job prospects. And if I do end up moving, I might need to restart some goals… like cleaning and those regarding houseplants. Some will also be defunct at that point.


One Response to “Day 19… been having fun…”

  1. Karla said

    Oh, okay okay okay, I’ll get off you for #95. -_^ I thought that it meant that you would replace all the completed goals with new ones, basically giving you another 101 tasks for the last 500 days. It doesn’t seem like you’re doing that, and re-eval is great, so I retract my earlier statement. ^_^

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