Sunday, July 31, 2011


So, I wasn't able to go to a movie by myself this weekend... not because I was scared, you shush your mouth, it was because I had no money. Even though I'm juggling three jobs, rent and things (like toilet paper and food... for the cat) just add up. And I forgot to budget in a movie this month. So... I'm postponing this HTDA post until I have money to go to a movie or until the library has another free movie (But I think the free movie at the library is a cop out for the HTDA post).

I am, however, posting a question to which I'd like to get some feedback. I've been writing a lot (as well as reading...) and have some stories I'd like to share with the Spatula, but I'm not sure how I feel about posting stories on the internet.

Based on your experience, how do you feel about posting original, unpublished stories online? Do you feel like someone will steal your idea and then make a million bucks for stealing your idea? Do you like posting your fiction online? Do you even post stories on to the internet? Are these feelings the same if you post art/photos/drawings?

I just wanted some feed back. Thanks, Spatulans. 

Summer Reading

I've been reading a lot lately. I've also been finding that I circulate to only a few places to sit and read. There is a nice wooden chair in my bed room, my bed, and a shaded quiet place outside next to a "crik". Anyway, I wanted to share some of the books I've been reading.

A few of the books I've read have been young adult literature (The City of Dreaming Books [which is just charming and clever] and The Dragonriders of Pern Series) and I'm reminded of when I used to read as a child in grade school. We got "Book IT!" points based on the number or difficulty (or something) of the books we read. Those points got us pizza tickets. We would to Pizza Hut to cash in our cheesy prizes after having read whatever it was we read. Personal pan pizza's for reading a book? Yes. Please.

Another book I've read (Middlesex) has made me crave Greek food (food... go figure... I really like food). I actually had wanted to read this for a while and a book club I'm in happened to pick this book recently. The author, Jeffery Eugenidehas written several other books (The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot). In Middlesex, Eugenide puts a tiny rogue gene in the center of a greek tragedy. The hero/heroine is beautifully written. He tells the tale of how "Cal" came into being from three different time periods: Cal's present, his parents, and his grandparents. History, places, people, and genetics are all woven together. But it's not convoluted or confusing.

Fall On Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I... I'm haunted by this book. It cast a poetic spell over me each time I picked it up to read. Sisters and secrets. Characters you hate and then find yourself loving. How many ways can one person be seen? How many sisters can one sister's heart have room for? I just... I can't stop thinking about this book.

What books have you been reading this summer? 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hot Time: Summer Memories

Pulled pork at the N.C. State Fair
Summer. Those golden months of hot farmer’s market vegetables, popsicles melting down your chin, camping trips, road trips, innertubing, sprinker jumping, family vacations, and longer days in which to cram more things.
PB&J with summer strawberries
When I was young(er) my mom would drive me and my brother, (my sister wasn't born yet) in her dark blue VW bug to her parent’s house in Columbia, SC. Chuck Berry and an opera I loved but now can’t remember the title played from the tape deck. Our dad met us there, after he was done with work. Once we were there, the sprinkler was stationed at the top of the hill in the back yard where we would jump and roll in the wet grass. My father taught us how to pluck the center stem from honeysuckle that hung heavy on the back porch and lick a tiny drop of nectar. Outside it smelled like hot cement, clay soil, damp moss, and honeysuckle. Inside smelled like tomatoes, corn on the cob, old ink written in old books, and roses. 

Cousins eating Bar-B-Que at the family farm
Trips to my dad’s parents during the summer when I was young smelled like cut hay, freshwater ponds, and musty leaves. Inside smelled like lavender, clean linen, old books, and fried catfish. I remember jumping from the tops of a tractor into one of the catfish ponds, making bowls from clay we found, and lying on my back in the waist high grass watching giant multi-colored grasshoppers twitch their legs on the biggest grass stalks.

David and the Picnic Strawberry
Now, the best part about summer is the food. (OK… and the camping trips and the family-beach-reunions and the long days in which to do nothing but read). When I was younger it was my parents and grandparents who made the summer food and certain foods take me back to those days: sweet iced tea, in a sweating glass, with mint leaves; fresh ripe tomatoes gushing seeds and tart-but-sweet juice; deep colored beets, baked in the oven or boiled and seasoned with only butter; golden crispy fried okra; strawberries still warm from the sun; basil leaves that leave their smell on my hands; the salty sweet meat of steamed clams and blue crabs. 

I have a thing for summer foods. I love how saturated they are, with color, with smell. I love that I can walk all grow-up like around the local farmers markets, pick out beautiful summer vegetables, and take them home to cook, creating new recipes and smells that will be the basis for new summer memories.

What are your favorite summer foods, drinks, memories?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

TiLT: Things i Love Thursday

How did it get to be Thursday already? I was just whinging to Clara five minutes ago about how it was Monday again! Oh well, at least I can't say things have been slow! Tempus Fugit & such! :) 

This week I've decided to write out a list of things I'm grateful for. TiLT, or Things i Love Thursday is something I've posted here before, and felt compelled to compile a new list of things that have made me smile or otherwise cheered me up this week. I hope you enjoy & share something that has uplifted your spirits as well! 

Movie outings with Clara!  Sharing meals with the parental units.  Playing Quake during breaks. Even if it means cheating a little bit to get more points.  Cranking up Grace Potter & The Nocturnals in the studio while I work.  Having a place to go and art whenever I want.  Old jeans covered in splatters and torn in odd places.  Having an older/wiser person tell you that you're "cool".  Plotting out ways to fulfill my Summer Adventures!  New stories brewing in the back of my mind. (You'll love them! Just you wait!)  Getting things straightened out with my insurance! (Adult things! *gasp!*)  Helena Bonham Carter Hair Days.  The very fact that tomorrow is Friday! (Weeee!)  Recurring dreams of punching annoying & aggravating persons in the forehead. Strangely cathartic. Gummi worms.  Accidental Gardening!  Fresh yellow peppers as a result of said Accidental Gardening.  Videos of Native American pow wow dancing! All things Neil Gaiman.  Abusing my library card.  Being able to rent movies for free from the art guild.  Inside jokes! (Always!)  Fun ideas for future projects (Stay Tuned!)  Chocolate.  Chocolate.  Chocolate... & Coffee.  Swimming pools that stay open late in the evening.  People who absolutely refuse to give up on you.  People who have the unique ability to make you smile, give you butterflies, & calm you down all at once.

What's made you happy this week? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Late Night Rummage

Right, now were are back to the main story. I'm not letting François get in the way anymore, and he might be sulking because of it. But don't mind him, the plot, as they say, thickens!

What has the goblins so worked up? Read on!

Charlotte stifled a yawn. Securing the restless goblins hadn’t been easy; until she received her orders as to how to dispose of them, she had to keep them from escaping the netting. It had been years since she attempted a restraining sigil so large and complex, but she finally had them fettered and quiet in an unused storage shed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vacation Magic

"A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work." 
~Morris Fishbein
All photos by Adam Austin
Recently, I took a family vacation to Holden Beach, and I didn't do a lick of work. Sure, I thought about my WIPs while I lay on blankets watching the opaline waters, but I didn't do anything I'd really call work. I pulled out the laptop one night, but I only typed a few words before conversation with my mom, The Golden Girls, and a National Geographic special on LSD research in the '50s and '60s finally convinced me to power down and enjoy the delightful battiness of Rose Nylund, psychedelics, and the woman who gave me life. 

And it was okay. 

I focused on family, the power of nature, and the magic of relaxation for a week, and I think I came back a better writer because of it. 

Author L. K. Madigan wrote the following about the writing life, and the more time I think about her quote, the more I appreciate her approach to the writing life:
 "The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a ‘Doctor Who’ marathon or become immersed in a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt." — L.K. Madigan
Live them without guilt--I should chant it under my breath as I go through the day. Too often I berate myself for less-than-ideal word counts or the elusive story thread that leads me on a scavenger hunt of memories, but every bunny trail belongs in the creative life. It's good to push away from work on occasion, to open the heart, and let the experiences that enrich us, and our work, flood in. 

I'm back now, and I'm yearning for my work. 

Has a vacation ever made you yearn for your work? 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

HTDA: Movie Night

"Laugh It Up, Fuzz Ball."
So, Spatulans, it seems that I'll be going to see a movie by myself. If you've been keeping score (what? why would you be keeping score?), Spatulans were to pick the next HTDA outing, which I was to do alone, document, and write about.

Out of three choices, going to see a movie by myself was top scorer. A close second was going to see a band. Which, I suppose, will be my HTDA post after the movie.

To get myself pumped up, I'm posting this question:

What are your favorite, feel-good movies?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Color & Whimsy

Howdy folks! Seamus and Merle are taking the night off, no doubt to go out and celebrate Seamus' return from the Other Side of the Door. We'll let those party animals have their fun. Meanwhile, I wanted to share something else with you...

Back in May I began renting studio space at the local art guild. I've written before about the office I set up in my apartment, and for a time it suited my needs. Eventually I grew to need a bigger space where I could paint with abandon and not have to worry about getting paint on the floor/walls/ceiling. (As I am fairly certain my landlords would not be particularly pleased by that.)

As it so happened, I had come to the guild to hear the poet laureate, Kelly Cherry, speak about her experiences and to read some of her new works, when I found out that spaces were available for rent. Needless to say I jumped at the chance!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Soundtrack to Carlo's One Night Stand

One of the (many) places I work is a costume and vintage clothing store called Carlo's One Night Stand. That's right. Leaving messages cracks me up. "Hi, this message is for Sam. This is Shannon from Carlo's One Night Stand reminding you the props you rented from us are passed due and need to be returned..." Also, imagine going to the doctor because you got yourself a kidney infection or a good old fashioned UTI and when the nurse filling out your paper work asks where you work and, doubled over in pain, you say, "Carlo's One Night Stand." Hilarity ensues.

But, aside from the cheap thrills of message leaving and the thought of making nurses uncomfortable I love picking the soundtrack for the day. Some days I'm in a weepy mood and the music playing has just a hint of melancholy (Not too much, though. We don't want the customers feeling slitty.). Other days, I'm really excited about movie and television soundtracks (Sherlock Holmes, How To Train Your Dragon, Battlestar Galactica, The Neverending Story, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Jaws, Oh Yeah!). Pandora(dot)com is a great place to get music for the store because I may want to kind of listen to this band, but not really. But I kind of do... but not really. Grooveshark(dot)com is really great when I want to hear a specific band or artist and want to overdose on their entire discography.

I also like to make soundtracks. My favorite type of soundtrack to make is full of happy-fly-day-pump-you-up  music. Lately I've been really excited about Tiesto's song "I Feel It In My Bones" featuring Tegan and Sara, the song "Kill Everybody" by Skrillex, "Solid Ground" by Maps and Atlases, "Not About Love" by Fiona Apple, and pretty much any song by Harry and the Potters. Also, close to closing time I love to blare Bruce Springstein, Led Zepplin and Fleetwood Mac. My happy-fly-day-pump-you-up songs change weekly and are as varied as ... well as music in general.

My favorite part about making the soundtrack for Carlo's ONS is getting a reaction from a customer. "Oh, who is this? I'm loving this song!" or "OHMAGOD! this is so totally Harry and the Potters!" or "Yes! Great song choice." When I hear something like that I just get all squeaky inside. Maybe that's what makes these songs happy-fly-day-pump-you-up songs? Maybe It's my ego.

For this post I asked a handful of my favorite people (Sorry, I couldn't get to all my favorites) what their happy song is. That song that, every time they hear it, they can not resist the urge to dance, or bounce, or sing, or it gets them riled up and ready to do anything.

  • Hayden: "We're At the Top Of The World" by The Juliana Theory
  • Cassie: "Summertime" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (or the Janis Joplin cover)
  • David: "Towering Flesh" by Pig Destroyer
  • Mom: "Sitting on the Dock Of The Bay," "American Pie," anything by Carol King, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and "Round About" by Yes!
  • Max (The owner of Carlo's): is really digging Arcade Fire and always loves the Mac

You can see the songs are as different as the people and makes me want to ask you, Fantastic Spatulans, What is your favorite "I feel like I can do anything" song?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chagrin d'amour Douce

Or, "François steals the spotlight. Again."

What can I say? François is very needy, apparently, and he thinks I haven't been paying enough attention to him. Give him an inch and he thinks he's a ruler.

Gee whiz... and here I was thinking that just because I'm the author that I was in control. I've got to stop letting my characters walk all over me. Oh well, have a look at François' thoughts on the goblin behind the cut. More gobliny goodness next week!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What I learned yesterday

Yesterday, like millions of viewers around the world, I sat in front of my television riveted to the World Cup final match between the United States and Japan. Yes, I've posted about soccer a couple times over the last year, but I couldn't let the Women's World Cup pass, especially after the US's tenacious fight to the final, without sharing a couple things about making magic I learned from watching these talented women battle for 120 minutes of play and end in penalty kicks.

o   When you’re down, fight harder. The US came out in the last moments of several games, and in the final, Japan fought back against every American scoring advantage, tying the US through last-minute goals in regulation and over-time. 
o   You can’t make a shot you don’t take. 
o   Put in the work to make the most of luck when it happens.
o   Smile about it, even when it hurts. When high-scoring Abby Wambach missed a goal near the end of the game, I was surprised to see her stand up smiling. In that situation, I would have hung my head. Wambach went on to score a crucial goal for the US. Also high on the list of smiles was Japan’s coach smiling at the end of the huddle before the PKs.
o   Age doesn’t matter. Sometimes being the inexperienced kid doesn’t mean a damn; you just have to run harder. Alex Morgan, the 22-year-old newbie, scored the first US goal of the final and assisted on the second. Saki Kumagai, a 20 year old, got the winning goal for Japan. Soccer, like many professional sports, is typically a game for the young; players often are in their mid-twenties, but Christie Rampone, the US team captain, is 36, has two kids, and was playing with Lyme disease, and she still played every minute of the final and had a huge save for the US. So often I've heard that age matters in making magic. I'm convinced it doesn't; it's the passion one brings that matters. 
o   Size doesn’t matter. Japan was the underdog and the smallest physical team on the pitch. Players like Abby Wambach at 5'11" towered above Golden Ball winner and Player of the Tournament winner Homare Sawa, who's 5'4". Often when I attempt to create, I compare myself to others, and often become discouraged because I don't have the big personality others do, but size doesn't matter. Persistence and skill do. 
o   Sometimes entertainment does mean something. Japan’s message to the world displayed on a banner stirred viewers, a reference to the crisis in Japan that started four months ago. From accounts I heard, Japan pulled around their soccer team, and the players, coaches, and fans made repeated statements that they wanted to bring a reason to celebrate to their country. Japan's coach showed photographs of the devastation before a game, a way to show the team who they played for. The victory didn't rebuild homes or restore life or make edible foods, but it did give people a reason to smile and a reason to hope. So often it's easy for me to feel that I should devote my time to actively helping instead of writing for entertainment. Japan's national team showed that even something viewed as entertainment for the masses can have meaning.  

From what seemingly unrelated magic have you gained inspiration? 

Friday, July 15, 2011

HTDA: Car Show (in photos) And You Choose The Next HTDA

OK Fantastic Spatulans, for my make-up post, I'm sharing pictures of my "free to the public event" alone outing. I chose something that was of interest (shiny old cars), chose something that was free (car show), took my camera, ambled about an hour, ran into strangers, took photos of sweet colors, listened to conversations, and managed to not pee my pants from the overwhelming sensation of being surrounded by hot, sweaty, shit-talking, car-loving people, which, by the way, can be (besides exhilarating) really, really intimidating when you have no fraking idea what anyone is saying and you can't point out the carburetor on any given car (Frankly, I'm not as savvy in the car lingo as I probably should be. That said, I can change [and have changed] a flat, the oil and other fluids, the brake pads, the alternator).

But before we get to the pics... I want you to get involved in the HTDA stuff. I want you, Fantastic Spatula Readers, to choose the next thing I do alone. You heard. The next HTDA will be determined by you, dear readers. You choose from a set list of things I'm intimidated to do alone, I'll do it, I'll take pictures, and do a write up and prove that it can be done alone. So, your choices are:

A. Go To A Movie
B. Go See A Band Play
C. Go To A Dance Club

All you have to do to vote is write "A", "B", or "C" in a comment to this post. The outing with the most votes by next Friday (July, 22) is the one that I'll do and post about the following week. Choose wisely, Spatulans, my alone existence depends on you... 

And now... on to the show... of cars... alone...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nowhere Man

Well folks it's finally time to see a glimpse of what happens when you step through a door to Nowhere. :) 

I wasted no time contacting Pendragon. He's one stubborn old goat, and only after I reminded him he owed me a favor did he concede to checking in on Arthur and the business with the Ministry.

Now with that done and Gwen sleeping soundly I could concentrate on the next pesky issue. There was only one person who could help in a time like this: Edith Piaf. That's the only way to get a giant Panda upset with you. Coincidentally it was the only way to bring Seamus back through the door. I knew Grant, the aforementioned panda, would be meeting the other Totems at Magda's. No doubt the Garden Summit would soon be under way.

I had only briefly met Grant one other time under less than optimal conditions and was in no way wanting to see him again. I knew I had no choice, the situation being what it was. I couldn't count on Seamus to find his way out, and my wife wouldn't be able to bring him until after the Summit was over.

As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. And Edith Piaf was definitely a desperate measure.

I took the record from it's home on the bookcase in the hallway, dusted it off as best I could, and set it up on the player. All the while making sure it'd be cranked up good and loud.

Sure enough, five minutes had yet to pass when there was a frenzied knocking at the door. I opened it and there was one pretty peeved panda standing on the other side. Grant was no small fritter, his fluffy frame filled the doorway in all directions.

"Turn that cursed siren down, Merle! You know that brings back bad memories for me from the war." He growled low enough to be taken seriously. I grinned at him and turned off the record.
"Thank god, I couldn't stand that screeching. Now, I believe this belongs to you."
One big, black paw stretched out in front of him. Dangling from it was one scared, wide-eyed kid.
"Oh, Seamus? Yeah, he's mine. Got a little lost, forgot to warn him about the door." I motioned for Seamus to step back through. He was partly prodded by Grant.
"Not a problem. I think all things considering he rather enjoyed himself." The bear's expressed formed something akin to a smirk. Then, turning on his heels he saluted us and sauntered off.

"Oh," he hollered back "Magda says thank you for the flowers!"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

HTDA: Fine Dining (in photos!)

Where have you gone alone? Where do you want to go alone? Are there any places you are afraid to go alone or things you are afraid to do by yourself?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Ok, folks, back to our regularly scheduled frivolity. We rejoin Amanda as she tries to figure out what to do with her diminutive new friend.

Will Charlotte let her keep him? Is their stay at the dig site over? Does Dr. Fischer have a use besides (imaginary) eye candy? Read on to find out!

(Also, Blogger seems to hate me again, so if things look screwy, blame Blogger.)

How was she going to explain this to Charlotte?

Cold, calculating Charlotte. She wouldn’t understand feeling sympathy for a poor, pathetic little goblin. She wouldn’t look into those limpid eyes and melt; she’d probably shoot the thing where it stood.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

HTDA: Coffee Shopping!

Creme Brulee Drink and LimeCoconut Cookies

If you’ve been following the HTDA series: we’ve been for a walk, had a craft night and been to the library alone. From here on out we’ve going to start doing more things that involve … the public. No need to cower. It’s OK. You can do this. It’s perfectly natural to be seen in public alone. It’s not sad or pathetic or whatever adjectives you’ve come up with to talk yourself out of being along in public. It should be comforting to know that you can be sans chatter and sit in a coffee shop listening and looking without company. And, if you look around the coffee shop you’ve chosen to sit in, you’ll notice that there are other people doing the same thing. I’m not saying you’re giving into peer pressure and doing what every one else is doing. I’m just saying that you’re not alone… being alone… (P.S. This post was supposed to be posted Saturday... sorry for the delay...)

What you need:
This is one HTDA for which you will need some cold hard cash... OK OK just a few bucks. I understand not having a lot of spending money, and trying to make ends meet, but you aren’t going to need much money here and going to the coffee shop isn’t an every day (or even weekly) expense anyway. In Missoula at most coffee places a cup of coffee costs $1.75, a refill is 25 cents, tip 50 cents to $1… and water is free. So at the most you will need $3 for coffee, refill, and tip. If coffee isn’t your thing get a water (it’s free), a chai latte, a soda/pop or you can get food (food is usually the more expensive item at a coffee shop and if you’re rubbing pennies together you may want to pass on the food).
A prop. You know, so you don’t feel like you’re looking like a creeper while you’re sitting quietly in the corner staring at people from over your cup of water… just saying. A prop can be a laptop computer, a notebook, a sketchbook, a book/comic book, paper to fold paper airplanes, crayons, tape, whatever. Although, I wouldn’t suggest bringing a camera and taking pictures of people and the coffee shop if your goal is to not look like a creeper… like I felt like I was doing when I was trying to get pictures for this post… but if you feel comfortable enough doing so then snap them pics, yo!
♥ P.S. A prop is not mandatory.

Where in the World is Fantastic Spatula?

“I’d want to live in a house made of dirt so I’d never have to clean it.” 
-Scott Frash.

Scott Frash is my cousin. My dad’s oldest sister’s first son. I saw him last week, along with my other cousins and aunts and uncles, when I went to Boston, MA for my cousin Margaret’s wedding. Never before had I spent so much time in a big city like Boston. I grew up in a small town on the ocean, went to school in a city in training, visited mountainous towns, spent a summer working in a Caribbean town, and took school trips to towns in Europe. But riding around the Boston Metro and train line, walking around the city and spending time with my family that is usually scattered to the four corners of the world, I got to thinking about places I’d like to live.

I then happened to be looking at a random blog and saw pictures of the inside of a house you’d see in the magazine “Simple” – clean lines, simple details, beautiful placement, white everything (white tiles, white bed sheets, white walls). While the house was very aesthetically pleasing to me I said I’d never want to live in a house that was all white because I’d get everything messy – messy with paint, with dirt, with cooking, with living – and it seems like it would be hard to clean and keep clean. That’s when my cousin said he’d want to live in a house made of dirt so he wouldn’t have to clean it – and thus this post was born.

Also this past week my sister and her boyfriend were talking with two of my aunts about where they would want to live and what type of house they’d want to live in some day. They finally agreed that they would want to live in a house that was part my aunt’s house in Newburyport, MA (which is a train ride to Boston, MA), part my parent’s house in Morehead City, NC (which is on a river), part my brother’s house (which is a tree house in St. Thomas, USVI) and was located in the mountains, driving distance from the big city, and a hop away from the beach.


So, Spatulans, I ask you this – Where would you want to live if you could live any where? Do you live there now? Would it be in the bustling city, a laid back beach town, the county, the mountains, in the United States or Canada or Europe or China?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Plans for Pendragon

Going to try and keep this as short as possible since last week's was so long. That and I'm not actually sure what Merle has up his sleeve. :)

I couldn't do much at the moment to bring Seamus back from the other side of the doorway so I had to settle for trying to calm Gwen down a notch or five.

I made my way back to the bedroom where I told Gwen she could camp out. Somewhere between sobs I heard her croak "Come in". I stood in front of her and tried to figure out what in the blue blazes was going on.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Repose from Goblins

Sorry, folks, but I am derailing the story for this week. I've been trying to get my characters to cooperate with me, but sometimes they just go off and don't leave a note for me. So, while I hunt them down and get another installment of their goblin problem out of them, I'd like to share a little taste of what François used to do for fun before Charlotte found him.

It's also a bit of a jab at Bigfoot researchers. I mean, come on guys, really? You take this stuff way too seriously. Give it a rest, before something terrible happens to you.

“Damnit, Bob, watch where you’re pointing that thing.”

“Sorry Cliff.”

Cliff and Bob Ferrier were the up and coming new stars in the world of Bigfoot hunting. To date, they had captured well over one hundred pieces of evidence in the search for the elusive beast, ranging from blurry videos and shaky heat signatures to odd sounds caught on static filled tapes. They admitted freely that it wasn’t the best, but people seemed to love their down home charm and full heartedly bought into their wildly woven stories and hyped up evidence.