2022 Celebrations: Sharing the spooky side

Some of you may know this about me, but I have had lots of experiences in my life that cannot be explained by mainstream science. I have mentioned before how I’ve learned remote viewing but I haven’t talked much about my UFO and ET experiences here. 2022 was the year that I finally shared many of these stories with others. I decided “fuck it,” they really happened to me and I couldn’t possibly bear possibly getting hit by a bus someday and not having shared these with anyone. Not that I’m ready for any buses to come careening towards me, mind you. I joined an Experiencer group called CERO this year that consists of people like me who have had an ET experience (a.k.a. “Experiencers”). Much of my memories of those events has been vetted by others who have had similar experiences. I’ve also been happy to help fill in the blanks for others by adding my experiences and thoughts.

ET experience is still one of the very most taboo subjects. When it happens to you, you can feel like the only one on the planet who’s had this experience. Not only do you feel incredibly lonely to find yourself the sole human in a roomful of aliens, you are lonely afterward because you don’t have anyone you can tell about it. Finding people who can relate is a huge, huge blessing because otherwise you can think you’re going nuts.

I felt comfortable enough to go on podcasts with some of my experiences, such as Cameron Logan’s “This is my Alien Life” podcast and my friend Nicolle Morrock’s P.E.E.P. podcast (episode 46). I also sat down in November for a video interview with Bill Howard for his upcoming documentary on Experiencers. We spoke for nearly two hours! Those who have seen the teaser clips have praised me for my candor and humor about it. I really look forward to the release of the whole documentary, coming to the Reveel streaming service soon.

Did it happen? Yes. Will some of y’all think I’m nuts? Yes. Do I care? Not in the least. I call ’em like I see ’em and I am not about to pretend that what happened to me didn’t happen, especially if it’s only to keep people from getting uncomfortable. Do I think I’m special? Sadly, no. You’d honestly be shocked at how many people this happens to. If I’m special, it’s only because I’m one of the few people who:

  1. recognizes it for what it is, and
  2. is comfortable talking about it.

On this note, late last year I published a blog post publicly that had composed eight years prior, couching my alien experience in terms of a dream. You can read it here.

2022 Celebrations: Public Service

Speaking of public speaking, I got the opportunity to dust off some public service skills this year, including public speaking and organizing. Earlier last year, one of my friends currently serving on Raleigh’s Parks Board invited me as a former Board member to join the board’s Fred Fletcher Award committee. I agreed and also brought along my friend Scott Reston. We spent a few Zoom meetings collaborating with other committee members to weigh the contributions of so many of Raleigh’s parks volunteers and make the hard decision on whose work deserves an award. The Fred Fletcher Awards Ceremony was always one of my most favorite events and I was thrilled to help make it happen again. I was beaming when I took the stage on MAy 10th to give a speech honoring my awardees. I didn’t miss a beat and it rekindled nostalgia for my days of civic leadership.

Then this fall, I dusted off my CAC skills with a one-off meeting of the old East CAC. I was approached my my friend and former CAC chair, Lynette Pitt, about getting another East CAC meeting done. There were neighborhood concerns about crime and development which weren’t being addressed. I met with her and another former CAC official to get something planned. In October, we held a meeting at the Lions Park picnic shelter and several dozen folks showed up. We even had free food donated by Brookside Bodega. We heard from the community on what issues need addressing and made plans to meet again to address them. I look forward to working with Lynette to make sure our community needs are addressed.

2022 Celebrations: NC Reading Service

Late in 2021, I was reminded about the North Carolina Reading service (formerly the Triangle Area Reading Service), either in a news story or a friend’s mention. I decided to dust off my speaking skills and get back in there as a volunteer. I got back going in as a fill-in volunteer, and for the first time in ten years I was back behind the microphone in February reading a shift. Since then I’ve gone on to read about a half-dozen times over the year, doing the evening shift and reading USA Today. I have been mostly diligent in saving the resulting recordings off the website, and listening critically to how I sound. This has helped me considerably with my public speaking skills and I feel good about performing a service for the sight-impaired folks in my community. It’s always been fun!

2022 Celebrations: Karaoke

I love to sing. Just love it. And at times I have needed to scratch the itch of public performance that I haven’t been able to get through DNR. So, when I feel up to it, I’ve been going out to the various karaoke shows around town to get my “sing on.” My favorite shows are Steve Scott’s show at the Brickhouse on Hillsborough Street on Friday nights. Steve’s shows have some really good regulars and a crowd that seems to appreciate good singing. Beyond that is Harryoke’s show at the Raleigh Beer Garden on Monday evenings. Another good crowd that appreciates good singing, and Harry has a good selection of songs. I also go to Jacob Sobel’s shows here and there, though his show at Picked Pub in north Raleigh seems to have been handed off to another KJ. So much depends on the audience’s response for me, and there are some venues where my songs or style just don’t click.

For a few weeks this fall, I tried a new show just starting out on Wednesday nights at the Dueling Piano Bar on Glenwood Avenue. It’s a first-rate club with lights, stage smoke, and a decent sound system. The crowd was small but into it, with a lot of good singers. The club had a karaoke contest each week, awarding $100 to the best singer. I competed twice but never won and got frustrated with the process, so I stopped going. I may revisit it later, though.

In Randleman this summer, I drove miles north to a club called Kamikaze’s Tavern just on the edge of Greensboro. It was mostly empty on karaoke night but I blew people away with my performance. Some regulars actually asked me “you mean, you drove all the way to sing here?” Ha! Not quite, but I totally did enjoy performing and I hope to get back there again someday either for karaoke or with my full DNR band.