Edreamz employees are world-renown for their sharp wits, socio-political awareness, and ability to think on their feet. Each week we select a member of our staff and put him or her on the spot - challenging them to assert their opinions on topical, relevant, thought-provoking subjects. These blog entries chronicle these watershed moments in human cultural achievement.
This week's answerer: TR "Ginger Bear" Williams, Project Manager & Bromancer
Q1: You, along with Carrot Top and that creepy kid from the movie “Problem Child”, have been blessed with a gift. That gift is being a Ginger. What are the pros/cons of having this gift? And would you change it, if given the option?
Would I change it? Of course not. I love me.
Q2: You have been penning a novel for quite some time. Can you give us a brief synopsis?
A2: Brief? Probably not. Synopsis? Sure!
Toward the end of his life, a troubled-yet-endearing manic-depressive discovers, during a New Year's Eve fireworks display, that his life-long imaginary friend (the girl with the fairytale wings) has been kidnapped by his insidious dark side (the ill and wicked shadow), and the only way he can find and rescue her is to retrace his life back through all his hilarious and heartbreaking memories. It's told out of sequence in journal form, with the story slowly materializing one "date" at a time throughout his awkward, eventful life. Along the journey, he's forced to face the dormant aspects of himself that he has either forgotten or can no longer summon the courage to remember. He has to essentially break himself free of his emotional stupor, at the risk of losing himself to his bipolar madness, in order to save the girl. I may or may not try to turn it into a dance musical.
The book I wrote before this one was about zombies.
Q3: Matt Harding and Zatch Northington are 80’s sitcom characters… who would they be and why?
A3: I'm really fighting the urge to liken Matt to "Boner" from Growing Pains right now. But I feel that comparison would be more comedic than authentic.
I'd say Matt's really more like Buddy from Charles in Charge. Likeable, well-meaning, always there for you when you need him. Maybe sometimes he gets a little too jazzed up about things and inadvertently causes a little trouble for the people around him. But at the end of the day, everyone likes the guy and the show just wouldn't be the same without him.
Zatch is totally Jack Tripper from Three's Company, because he doesn't seem to ever have a permanent girlfriend but he's always palling around with hot babes.
Q4: You've recently moved into a new house and have been working hard to make it your own along with Sarah’s husband Anthony. What are some projects you've completed and what's next on the list? Does Sarah need to be worried?
A4: I kinda figure Sarah is always a little bit worried when Anthony and I "do projects" together. But it's more of a "will I ever see my husband with both thumbs again?" kinda worry.
Anthony's really come through for me throughout the entire house-hunting / buying process. Our relationship has really intensified over the past few weeks. For those who don't know, he runs his own upholstery business here in Charlotte (Tack). So, he owns a lot of tools and knows how to do stuff. He jokes that he and I make a good team, because he has practical, functional knowledge of how to properly craft and refine various furniture and homewares, and I'm really good at carelessly and enthusiastically hammering and screwing stuff (that's what she said).
As for what we've done so far - We moved a lot of furniture, put together a bunch of ikea stuff, wired in some light fixtures, hand-built a sweet headboard, re-purposed an old planter that we turned into three benches to surround the firepit, drank a lot of beer, didn't lose any thumbs.
What's next - Carport, wraparound sectional for the screened porch, perhaps some chaise lounges or cuddle couches for the open area of the deck, fully restore a 1986 Subaru B.R.A.T., build an enclosure for the hot tub, dig out a more epic fire pit in the back, string up lots of novelty lighting, drink more beer, try to not cut off our thumbs.
Q5: You love some Yankee candles. What's your favorite Yankee candle scent and why? If you were going to create your own scent what would it be?
A5: My favorite so far is Banana Nut Bread, which was a particularly pleasurable and unexpected favorite, because I almost didn't buy it and it awakened in me a latent appreciation for banana nut bread that I never knew I had.
If I were to craft my own scent, it'd be called "Girl's Hair" and it would smell like a girl's hair. Because that's the greatest smell ever. Ideally, it'd catch on and I could have a whole line of "Girl's Hair" scents, with more specialized aromas like "Fresh Outta the Shower" or "After the Smokey Night Club" or "Still in Bed at 11am".
Q6. What was your greatest, most crazy college experience (that you can talk about on the blog ;)?
A6: My college experience was basically just a long series of really fabulous costume parties with dull moments of occasionally going to class in between. It's tough to pick just one... but, I'd have to say the craziest was the "Eviction Party".
From 2000 to 2002, my best friend, MP, and I lived in a great little apartment at 704-F South Chapman Street in Greenboro, NC. We, as college guys are apt to do, threw a lot of parties. After one particularly raucous soiree (whereupon we were shut down for accidentally letting the flaming tiki torches zip-tied to our second floor balcony railing do a little too much scorching of the underside of the awning above...), the landlord said, "If you guys throw one more party - you're outta here!" Our response: "Challenge accepted."
Hence, the "Eviction Party".
We planned things really well back then. In fact, it was throwing college parties that taught me how good I am at managing complicated projects. We found a new place to live and signed the lease the weekend before. We then quietly and all sneaky-like moved all our stuff out late at night throughout the next week, so by the time the party weekend came around we were completely cleared out - but our landlord was none the wiser. It was kind of brilliant, because we suddenly had enough interior space to hold three times as many people as usual. So, we promo'd the hell out of it.
The theme was simple: Pajamas and Party Juice (some still call it the PJ party, but MP and I had already dubbed it the Eviction Party, so that's how I remember it). If you showed up in anything other than sleepwear, you were required to strip to your undies to gain entry.
We had themed rooms set up - strip twister in the living room, spin the bottle in my bedroom, MP's walk-in closet became the 7-minutes-in-heaven room... We replaced all the light bulbs with black lights and had a fluorescent body painting station set up in the kitchen, etc. And, of course, enough everclear-spiked-punch to intoxicate a herd of buffalo.
Things started off really well. Great turn out, everyone was into it. I don't mean to make it sound seedier than it was; I hung out with a bunch of nerdy art kids. So even though we were mostly naked and making out with each other, it still somehow felt classy.
But then came the inevitable downward spiral. I can't pinpoint the exact moment things went bad, but I recall an experience that was something like living in fast-forward. A lot of time went by really quickly and even though I was aware of everything that was happening around me, I couldn't quite process it.
I had these sliding wooden doors on the closet in my bedroom. One of them would stick in the track and you had to lift and wiggle to get it to open. I knew this; I dealt with it every day. All the girls had put their purses in there, so as they left they each asked me to retrieve their's for them. My friend SH came to me around 1am and said she needed my help getting the door open. I grabbed the door, lifted, wiggled, and... it didn't open. It was pretty stuck. Without warning or provocation, I immediately launched into a rage fit, punching multiple holes in both doors, ripping them entirely off the wall track, and throwing them across the room. I then fetched SH's purse from the top shelf and handed it to her like a wild, huffing ape. I seem to recall her saying something really casual and dismissive, like, "Thanks. Good night, hon'."
The next thing I can clearly remember is running around in the street in nothing but my boxer briefs, shouting, "The boat's not big enough for everyone! I'll stay behind so others can go!"
That's when my friend KL grabbed me and said, "We need your help. Something bad is happening."
KL led me back upstairs and into MP's bedroom at the back. A couple of our other friends were standing against the wall with shocked, teary-eyed faces. MP was on the floor trying to restrain RC, another female friend of ours. RC was in full-on violent seizure mode. She was throwing herself around so forcefully I thought she was going to break an arm or a leg. It was the most terrifying thing I'd seen to that point in my life. I got down on the floor and got behind her and tried to bear hug her and hold her still, but in her adrenalized convulsions she was way stronger than I could handle. I remember someone shouting, "What do we do?!" and I said, "We gotta get her to the emergency room..."
So, we struggled her downstairs and got her in the passenger seat of MP's 1989 Honda Civic hatchback. KL and I crawled in through the back hatch and I sat behind RC and wrapped my arms around her and the seat to try to keep her still while MP drove. She kept banging her head against the center column of the inside of the door where the top of the seatbelt hook was, so I put my hand up against the side of her head to try to stop her, but she ended up just head-butting the back of my palm against that seatbelt hook over and over.
As soon as we got to the hospital they strapped her to a gurney and took her off. The doc's asked, "What's she on?" and we had no idea how to reply.
We spent the next hour sitting in the Moses Cone Hospital emergency waiting room, in our underwear, covered from head to toe in fluorescent body paint, in an odd condition of drunk, shocked, confused, and embarrassed. Most the hospital staff just wandered by, shooting us disapproving glances as they passed. But one kindly nurse came by and talked to us and gave me an ice pack for my hand. Eventually, a doctor came out and explained to us that RC had an unreasonable amount of PCP in her system, so they had to pump her stomach.
Over the next couple days, as we reconnected with other people from the party, we started piecing together tales of other similarly terrifying stories that had occurred that night. We never knew for sure, but the likely scenario was that someone spiked the party juice with PCP and that's why we all lost our minds.
But, ya know, we didn't let it bum us out. We threw an equally ridiculous house-warming party at our new place the next weekend.
Then we got the letter from our old landlord charging us for a couple grand worth of damages... So we had to borrow money from our mushroom-dealing friend to pay for it. Oh, college.
Q7: The NHL is officially back and seeing as your 1 of 9 remaining hockey fans on the planet, we need a hockey question. If you had to form an E-dreamz hockey team who would you pick for your teammates, what positions would everyone play and what would the team name be?
A7: As much I'd love to get back out on the ice and start hip-checking people into the boards, I just don't think the E-dreamz crew would enjoy that experience as much as I would. So, I'd vote we take things down a couple notches and just play rec roller hockey. We'd be the "E-dreamz Roller Patrollers" and we'd play in C-league on old-school quad skates. Nate "Slow Skate" Pulver would be our center and team captain. Matty "Couples Skate" Ball Game would be our Right Wing, because he's a staunch Republican. Christopher "Moonlight Skate" Harris would be the Left Wing, since he's probably the only one who actually knows how to play and LWs score all the goals. Tristan "Natty Ice" Perry and Benji "Rolling Rock" Wisecup would be our defensive pairing, because it's crucial that defensive partners have good trust and synergy on the ice(court), and I feel those two guys would work well together. I'd mind the net, since I'm lazy and I'm probably better at it than anyone else. After about a period and a half, we'd get permanently banned from the league for excessive fighting.
Q8: You’ve often fantasized about dropping everything and moving out to an isolated dusty town in the middle of nowhere, far from civilization and other people. Now that you are a homeowner is that pretty much off the table or is this all just a ruse to throw people off while you plan your escape?
A8: You know, I usually to try to be funny but this is one I've been thinking a lot about lately. I still do eventually want to move out west at some point in my life, but I've got a good thing going these days here in Charlotte (a city I never particularly wanted to live in), with my job, friends, etc. So I'm trying to change my mindset and learn to just be "okay" with where I am. Not to get all emo, but all I've ever wanted is to be with the people I love. I couldn't care less what city, country, planet that puts me on. Just surround me with all those towering artistic heroes I've had the pleasure of knowing and loving throughout my life and I'll be right where I need to be. But as you get older, that notion that used to seem so ennobling and romantic suddenly starts to become really foolish. People grow up and their lives change and they establish new things for themselves that their old drunken college party buddy can't be a part of anymore. I realize it's time for me to grow up and start doing the things that other people do, but I'm just so damn awesome and fun-loving it's hard for me to do that. So, buying a house was my "test water" to see if I can actually stomach behaving like a reasonable adult. I have moments where I feel really good about it... and then others where I freak out and second-guess the "commitment".
When I fall into one of my "bummed out" moods I always revert to my desire to run away and live in the woods and not have to think about anything anymore. Idyllic isolation is my "happy place".
Q9: You have an unhealthy obsession with Taylor Swift (T Swift or T Swizzle to those “in the know”) and have publicly stated that Fiona Apple speaks to your soul. Taylor or Fiona? Discuss.
A9: In my life, I've had two great loves. One was a Taylor Swift - young, charming, intelligent and artistic, but ultimately superficial and not particularly interested in sustaining anything serious. The other was a Fiona Apple - tortured, sexy, brooding, and extraordinarily emotionally intense. Each type of girl appeals to different sides of me. If I'm out at a bar with friends, I want Taylor on my arm. If I'm at home drinking gin on the couch, I want Fiona snuggled up next to me. Were I to have to choose, I'd say at this stage of my life I'm more Fiona than I am Taylor. As much I can't get enough of songs like "All Too Well" and "The Last Time", the moment "Slow Like Honey" comes on my playlist, I just absolutely lose my mind. Oh, the duality of the human heart...
Q10: Name the top 5 all-time greatest movie montages.
Number 5 - Teen Wolf (1985)
Once Scott (MJ Fox) embraces his werewolf-dom and becomes the most popular jock in school, he decides to cut loose on the basketball court... delivering to us one of the most awkward 80s montages ever: a five-foot-four guy dressed up as chewbacca slamming an insane assortment of aerial 360s and reverse dunks while some white guy sings a strange blues song no one's ever heard of.
Number 4 - Over the Top (1987)
A down-on-his-luck trucker dad has to make money for his kid by engaging in an improbable series of arm-wrestling competitions that vault him into the national arm-wrestling tournament. Naturally, in 80s movies where the climax involves any kind of a physical competition - it's montage time. Here, we get three solid minutes of Sylvester Stallone's grimacing face and bulging bicep while Sammy Hagar serenades us with "Winner Takes it All". Epic.
Number 3 - Ghostbusters (1984)
Once the Ghostbusters "make it" as a ghost-fighters-for-hire operation, the city of New York embraces them as something akin to superheroes. The best way to convey their meteoric rise is with... a montage. As their signature tune (Ray Park's "Ghostbusters" - WHO YOU GONNA CALL?!) plays, we see a bevy of magazine covers, popular radio and TV personalities from the era, Bill Murray bebopping down steps, Harold Ramis striking his best "blue steel" face, parades, confetti, Portuguese construction workers, swooning women in legwarmers... it's just beautiful. I AIN'T AFRAID OF NO GHOST.
Number 2 - Every Rocky Movie (1976 - 1985)
I wanted to try to avoid the stereotypical 80s montage movies... but the Rocky franchise really did take the concept of a training montage to a whole new level. First, he's punching meat and running up steps. Then he's punching meat and running steps while Carl Weathers sweats profusely in red-white-and-blue short shorts. Then, to take on Mister T, Rocky and Carl Weathers both put on short shorts and sweat a bunch while running up and down the beach. Each movie delivers a montage superior to the last, until, final, Ivan Drago inspires the Rockster to abscond to a remote mountain cabin where he lifts logs, carries chains, pushes tractors, and slogs through slush and snow... proving to every hardened Soviet on the planet that the little Italian Stallion can handle every bit of what they can. God, I feel so American right now.
Number 1 - The Big Chill (1983)
This one isn't funny, but it's from one of my favorite movies so I have to place it first. The opening sequence is an epic montage (seriously one of the best in cinema history) that splices little scenes of every main character packing for their trip to the funeral with close-ups of the funeral director dressing dead Kevin Costner's body in a tux, all while Marvin Gaye's "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" plays. The movie only gets better from there, but that one montage tells us in four beautiful minutes exactly what's happening, what's going to happen, and the emotional impact it's going to have on us. God, I hope when I kill myself my friends have as good a time at my funeral as these cats did. All-time classic.
Bonus Question: When exactly did you find time to launch a singing career?
Bonus Answer: Ha! I hate that song...
There was a period of time around 2000/2001, when I was sporting a medium-length slicked-back 'do and a fierce chin-cap goatee, that I looked an awful lot like James Hetfield. Then people started saying, "Hey, you look like that guy from Metallica," so I immediately shaved off the chin-cap and bleached my hair platinum blonde. It's important to me to not accidentally look like anyone else. I can now no longer wear white button-downs and flat-caps. Thanks a lot, Alex Clare.