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Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. turns 82 years old today. Things I like about him:

• We share the first name. He was the first famous Kurt that I knew off. Then came Kurt Cobain. A bunch of other Kurt's have soon followed, so my name isn't as unique as it used to be.

• I have actually read some of his books. I think I have read about 4 of them. This is quite the accomplishment because I am not a reader. I haven't read a novel in over 2 years now.

I also had a close encounter with Kurt. He spoke at Northern Michigan University while I was living in Marquette, MI. This is around 1997. I was in attendance.

His main theme for his talk was, "The Extended Family". The main advantage of the extended family is to keep the socially maladjusted, get steered in the right direction by the other members of this family. Back when communities were smaller and society not as "advanced", the entire community would help in the raising of little Jimmy, not just Jimmy's parents. In today's more isolated society, with all the technological doohickeys keeping us inside, we are losing this extended family.

That is not the main anecdote I have here. After the talk, Kurt had a more informal Question and Answer period in a smaller room. I was among the 25 or so people there. I personally didn't ask anything of Kurt, too intimidated I guess. About a half hour into the Q&A, my ADD kicked in. I look over to the server's table and I saw cake. I like cake, cake is yummy food. I wander over and grab a piece. Cake is finger food in my world, so I just grab a chunk and start slamming it into my face. I then look back to Kurt as I am cramming more cake into my pie hole. He looks at me and promptly ends the Q&A session, much to the chagrin of the others in the room. Somebody in that room thought that cake was more important than his words, so the session must end. At least that is how I interpreted his thoughts at that moment.

As I left the building, I grabbed a promotional poster for this talk off of the wall. I still have it in my collection.

More Ministry

I started two forum threads concerning my experience at the Ministry Concert here in Duluth. I got alternative points of view of the concert from people who were right in front from this Piss Army thread. Apparently it wasn't a happy experience up front for some folks. I also mentioned the concert in the Coyote forums. Notice how I used the same joke in both threads. I must of thought it was clever.