POSTED ON FEBRUARY 6, 2008:
Meet Isaac. He's New Here
Rookie columnist wants to get to know your Tulsa
Hi. I'm new here. New to Tulsa. New to Urban Tulsa Weekly.
I know what I would be thinking if I were you, "Well, I guess I'll check out what the Mexican has to say this week. New guy, no thanks!" You should skip right over me. Go ahead. What am I going to do? Show up at your house and force you to read this? No, I wouldn't do that. Would I? Remember: you don't know me yet.
I will tell you the more of you who choose not to read my article, the worse my chances are of finally realizing my dream. Do you want to be responsible for dashing my dream? It is a heavy burden to carry around from work to home to Super Target.
I know. I have dashed dreams before. My dream is to hear my name on Entertainment Tonight. Specifically, I want to hear Mary Hart rant and rave about me. So much so that she, and the world, will only refer to me as Isaac. I can see it now: Birthday trivia near the end of the show: "Which star celebrity was once a Peace Corps Volunteer? Is it Brad? Madonna? Isaac? Find out next in celebrity birthdays." Oh, I can almost hear it. Can't you? The sweet sound of success uttered by one of the sweetest voices in the biz. Mary Hart, you fox! Is that too much to ask, Tulsa?
So this is me, Isaac, introducing myself to you, Tulsa. You should know: I'm terrible with introductions. Awful. This is how a typical introduction plays itself out in my world:
Inner Isaac: Make eye contact, yeah, don't look away, Isaac. That's a sign of weakness. Shake hands. Firm. Not too firm. Can I let go yet? Now? Whoa! That felt too long.
Outer Isaac: "Yeah, it's a pleasure to meet you. A pleasure. Beautiful night, huh?"
Inner Isaac: Wow, he's missing a canine. Can I trust this guy?
Outer Isaac: "Isaac Farley, sir."
Inner Isaac: Oh good god, what was his name? Paul? Was it Paul? Pedro? Oh Jesus, did it even start with a P? Paul. It was definitely Paul.
Outer Isaac: "No, Chris Farley isn't my cousin."
Inner Isaac: Hahaha. That never ever, ever gets old. So fresh!
Outer Isaac: "No one has ever asked me that. That's really funny. You're funny."
Inner Isaac: Idiot. Was it Craig?
If we are ever to meet, which may be a good idea considering I am on my way to sitting on the throne of the entertainment world, remember to first introduce yourself. Tell me a bit about yourself, but don't mention the weather. Talking about the weather is conversational suicide in my world, unless, of course, we are family and can't agree on discussing any other issue without arguing. Then, "It's been cloudy, but I hear the skies are going to be clearing tonight" is music to my ears.
I lost focus. That happens regularly. I apologize. Where were we? Oh, yeah--the introduction. Okay. I will remember almost everything about you, but I can assure you your name won't be one of the details. After our introduction, do us both a favor, circle the room, say, for 30 to 45 minutes, enjoy yourself, return, and re-introduce yourself. I will be happy you did! Thanks in advance.
Here are some other random factual and fictional items to help you get to know me: 1) I dislike coffee and its energy-providing friend, caffeine. 2) My favorite food is chicken and that's as specific as I want to be about it. Barbequed is excellent, but no better than fried, popcorn, or grilled with a lemon wedge. 3) I had a traumatic event involving shoestrings when I was a kid, so I only wear shoes with strings to very important events. 4) My favorite fruit that is often confused for a vegetable is a tomato, but the avocado is right there. 5) I speak Swedish. 6) The closest my girlfriend and I have come to breaking up was over Ikea furniture and fantasy golf. That's right, it exists. The only thing better than seeing Tiger sink an eighty footer is having him on your fantasy roster when he does so.
You read correctly, but it may have slipped your mind. I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. I spent the last two years living in Belize. It's in Central America just south of Mexico and east and north of Guatemala. Guatemala is kind of like Belize's geographical down comforter. If you knew Belize's geographical location make yourself a cookie; you're in the minority. If you didn't know where Belize was, it's okay, make yourself a cookie; you're in the majority. My time in Belize was one of the best experiences of my life. I didn't live by the beach, but I did sip on delicious rum punch continuously. You don't have to have one to have the other, folks.
Let's be serious. It wasn't easy, but I loved it. You may ask, "well, why are you in Tulsa?" Here's why: I spent two years away from the woman I love while serving in Belize. I think it's time to be in the same location. Tulsa's the venue. She's Tulsan!
Before my service in Belize I lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. You may have heard of it. Chattanooga has received a fair amount of attention from Tulsa's press because of the recent river tax vote. I was there recently. I understand why it received that attention. It's a fun city with a beautiful riverfront, many Wafflehouses, close friends and most of my immediate family.
To the Point
Now to the matter at hand: I'm new. I don't really know Tulsa. My family asks if there are tumbleweeds here. They know even less about this fine city than I do. I want to get to know your Tulsa. I've been here for a couple of months, so I have experienced some of Tulsa's greatness. The Tulsa State Fair. Almost being hit by a Drillers' homerun baseball while driving down Yale. A walk by the river. A concert at Cain's Ballroom. A slice of pizza at Pie Hole or Hideaway. I better stop here with the food. I only have 1,500 words.
I have talked to many Tulsans. You like it here. Why? I genuinely mean that. Why do you like it here? Write me. Tell me. I'd like to know what you do for fun on a Wednesday evening or a Saturday afternoon. I'd like you to send me ideas on what I can do to see your Tulsa. Show me around. Of the hundreds of recommendations I receive I will select at least three and write about my experiences. I'd like to keep the overall price of the activity/event to $30 or less, so keep that in mind.
Unfortunately, that means Celine Dion at BOK Center won't be reviewed. Her ticket prices exceed my ceiling. I hate it for both of us. Sorry, Celine. The only criteria are that it should be fun, in or around Tulsa, relatively safe, and something you genuinely love doing. Thank you for your help introducing me to your fine city! I look forward to getting to know it. There aren't tumbleweeds here, are there?
Send suggestions to email@example.com. Include "Tulsa Fun!" in your e-mail title.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A19672