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Sat, Dec. 13th, 2008, 04:18 pm
Basil's 2008 holiday letter

Basil: Happy ChristmaKwanzakah! I enjoy writing my holiday letter. That way when people accuse me of not doing anything, I can hand them the holiday letter.

Herein begins Basil's report:
I retired from comedy this year, just in time to have my CD listed on Amazon (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Basil_White and download it for free).

Last year a lot of problems at Walter Reed Army Hospital caused a big scandal with firings and the chartering of a DoD/VA task force. I've been an analyst on that task force since May of last year, and I couldn't do the work and perform comedy at the same time. I regret nothing. I worked my plan to develop both careers as hard as I could until one of them forced me to choose, and my plan worked.

I still hate the Pentagon. Not the people or the mission, the building. The collection of brick and mortar. I can't find anything or escape without major anxiety. I'm convinced that the architect of the Pentagon was hurt when he was little, because that's the only reason to design a building on a theme of passive aggression and blind hatred of the species. Every time I find my destination in the Pentagon I look around for a minotaur or a piece of cheese.

I taught my psychology of comedy class one more time (http://www.basilwhite.com/comedyworkshop), but as I don't use the stuff, I can't talk from the perspective of someone who uses the tools I teach. The school asked me to keep teaching it, so I'm going to teach it one more time in March.

In April I went to West Point with Bill to give him a "boots on the ground" experience of the goal he wants to achieve, so that during his two years at Marion Military Institute he'll know why he's submitting to all the yelling and the drama (http://basilwhite.livejournal.com/307012.html).

In May I saw my sister Melissa graduate with her Bachelor's Degree in Education from UT Knoxville (http://basilwhite.livejournal.com/310139.html), and Bill graduate from high school in Jackson, Mississippi (http://www.basilwhite.com/images/20080520BillGraduation), then we all converged on Dad's house for his birthday (http://basilwhite.livejournal.com/311421.html).

In June, Dad and I went to Bill's Army ROTC Leader's Training (http://basilwhite.livejournal.com/319136.html). Dad and I drove through Murray State, and he showed me some nearby establishments where he shared his perspective and individuality with some of the locals. The balance of August was watching the Olympics on the new hi-def Tivo. Aimee took me to the Oregon Coast over Labor Day week. Perfect time to go. Not too cold, the coast highway-choking traffic had just left, and the stores were still open. I felt nostalgic for Oregon two weeks after I left and I still do.

For my 40th birthday I got a selection of age-appropriate gifts (http://basilwhite.livejournal.com/338994.html). October 22 of last year I quit smoking. To give myself a new nervous habit, I brought a cheap electric guitar to work (ironically, electric guitars are quieter than acoustic.) So now when I'm at work and I need to take the edge off I just practice the guitar scales. I also play drums in the basement, but after I quit comedy I needed to create, so I started writing my own songs (http://basilwhite.livejournal.com/303667.html) and rearranging other people's songs (http://basilwhite.livejournal.com/347393.html).

Aimee made me a quilt and took me to the Folk School for a birthday present (http://www.folkschool.org). I took a cooking class. We're going again in March. I recommend the Folk School to anyone who creates or needs to create. We were there during the election. They didn't have a television, so we watched the returns by huddling around the warm glow of the wireless laptop. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner again. I love cooking, and Aimee supports my new hobby.