Things that Make Me Smile
As I know some of you are reality-show afficianados, I thought I would relate this, so you can root for this fine young fellow.
Pete was one of my best friends growing up. I used to say (quite often), that if I wasn't me, or Prince, I would have wanted to be Pete -- he was the most talented actor I ever knew (he went to NYU's Tisch School, but quit because "he wasn't learning anything actually useful to the world," his elbow appears in Dazed and Confused); the drummer of our high school band (The Flaming Faggots -- a punk band named after a Shakespearean reference to piss off the meatheads and scandalize The Man -- we thought we were pretty clever); a guy who basically introduced himself to my future wife by asking her, in all earnest seriousness, about a woman's feelings on giving blowjobs; a guy who every time I saw him while I was in law school seemed to be wearing some clothes he'd borrowed from me in high school; a guy who looked up into the clouds (apparently believing God was talking to him) when Kerry tried to stop him on the street; the guy who got to hang out with the Replacements and got quoted in the Houston Chronicle for the beer bottle I took to the head (thrown by Paul Westerberg); a guy who torched his final history paper and never graduated college because he felt he hadn't really learned enough to deserve it, then showed up at my apartment with a bottle of bourbon and a James Taylor record on vinyl; etc., etc. I'm actually looking at a picture I have of him in my office, staring down from a tree at me, on a camping trip we took out to Pedernales State Park. I realize you can never really do someone you've loved justice in trying to quickly describe why you loved him or her, because it just starts sounding canned no matter what you do. Especially with those who died young (as Pete did, killed by a drunk driver while planting trees in Washington State).
So, when Pete died, my friends and I set up a scholarship fund at our old high school (putting my recently acquired law degree to good use). I got an email the other day from an old friend, sending me a link to the first scholarship winner from years ago, Nick, photo above, description below, who is now on "Step It Up and Dance on Bravo."
"At the age of four, Nick was so inspired by Kevin Bacon's performance in Footloose, he knew right then that he wanted to be a dancer. His mother, an author/librarian, and father, a painter/graphic artist, both supported his love for dance and instilled a strong work ethic and sense of determination. A Houston, Texas native and graduate of Oklahoma City University, Nick now resides in Los Angeles as a technically trained professional dancer and actor. He has appeared in several music videos including: Jessica Simpson's "Boots," My Chemical Romance's "Helena," Finger Eleven's "Paralyzer," and Duran Duran's "Falling Down." Nick can also be seen in a variety of roles on television, film and stage, most recently appearing as Theodore's dance double in the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie. Described by his friends as energetic, funny, charismatic, and always looking for trouble – this single (and straight) dancer may just spice things up with the girls in the house."
So, root for the boy. Pete would have loved this -- especially the chipmunk dance double and "straight" part.