An Interview with Trey McElveen
by David Cleary

DAVE CLEARY: Hi Trey! It's great to get the opportunity for an extended chat with you. To get us started, tell us a few of the basics about yourself: your age, where you work or go to school, where you live, things like that.

TREY MCELVEEN: Well, my full name is Daniel Cannon McElveen III, but most everyone calls me Trey (that comes from being "the third," of course). :) I am single and turned 18 this July 4th. That's right, my birthday is Independence Day in America. Just think--all those fireworks for me. You really shouldn't have. :)

DC: {laughs} You and George M. Cohen were both Independence Day babies.

TM: Along with Thomas Jefferson....Wait a moment, he died on Independence Day. My bad. ;)

DC: What city do you live in?

TM: I live between Montgomery and Wetumpka, Alabama, in a trailer park just off Highway 231. :) My address is a Montgomery one, however.

DC: When did you first see The Lion King? What were your first reactions to it?

TM: First reactions were positive, but nothing to get me really into the fandom. I did acknowledge it as the best and greatest Disney feature ever upon leaving the theatre, but I didn't feel that it would change my life. Shows you the judge of cinema character I am. :)

DC: How many times have you seen the film, both in the theatre and on video?

TM: Less than people would probably think. As of my last count, I'd seen it once in the theatre (at the time, I didn't think it was worth another $7.00) and only fifteen times on video, so a total of sixteen.

Wait--onetwothreefour...yeah, sixteen. :)

DC: Are you generally a Disney film fan, or was TLK an unusual occurrence for you?

TM: Generally, yeah--although I'm a little young to call myself a "fan" of Disney before TLK, I have to say that I've always loved their animation. The very first movie I ever saw was when I was about three or so, and it was "The Jungle Book." "The Little Mermaid" was the only Disney movie I didn't like in theatres, but I've warmed up to it since then.

DC: Do you have a favorite scene in TLK?

TM: Favorite scene in TLK is the stampede. The technical merit in that scene is bloody incredible, and I get goosebumps everytime I see it. Once, I was walking into a local Circuit City to check out some computer prices and they were playing TLK on a 50" Hitachi TV with a $3000 Infinity stereo system setup. The scene was the Stampede, and you could feel the concrete shaking under your shoes. I literally left a pool of drool on the floor. :)

DC: I know what you mean. I remember seeing TLK with my cousin on his home entertainment system. When the stampede started, we had to turn down the sound because the speaker had trouble handling the low vibrations. Obviously, you're a big fan of the animation used in that scene as well.

TM: Yep, sure am. I have a home theatre system as well, and when we got it a couple of Christmases ago, TLK was the first thing I put in it. I didn't know just how loud the volume got, so when I cranked it and "Circle of Life" came on, we darned near shattered the windows in the house. I watched the stampede about four times, the last time spent lying on the floor in front of the super-woofer and feeling the vibrations. :)

DC: Which scene is your least favorite?

TM: It would have to be "Hakuna Matata," but I don't hate it by any standards. It's just that people come up to me and say "Hakuna Matata, Trey!" and they don't really know what it means to me, so that degrades it a bit. I usually skip over that cut on the soundtracks these days.

DC: Which Disney animated films are your favorites? Your least favorite?

TM: Jeez, this is a hard one....

My least favorite would have to be Pocahontas out of all the ones I've seen, mainly because of the mockery it made of history. The one good redeeming factor it had was that the soundtrack didn't suck. Much.

My favorite, aside from TLK I assume, is Aladdin. I had that film memorized, and still quote it regularly. :)

DC: What did you like about Aladdin?

TM: Again, the music. "A Whole New World" was something that I could sing very well--that is, before my voice changed. :) Also, Robin Williams was awesome as the Genie.

DC: Do you like non-Disney animated films? Which ones, if so?

TM: Yep, sure do. I enjoy a lot of independent animation, such as Aeon Flux and the like, stuff they used to show really late at night on MTV like Liquid Television. Broke my heart when they took that off.

As for feature animation, a lot of Don Bluth's stuff is great, and Secret of NIMH just takes the cake. :) I saw it before TLK, long before, really, and I was just blown away. Love that movie to death. :)

DC: What did you like about Secret of NIMH? Did the animal characters have something to do with it?

TM: The animal characters had pretty much everything to do with it at the time. I love it now because it uses one of the oldest plotlines in the realm of entertainment, and one of my favorites; it's the story of a mother's love for one child and the lengths she will go to in order to save him, even though it means dredging up the past. A lot of my personal writings have a lot to do with this. NIMH influenced me in more ways than I previously realized.

DC: Are there any other non-Disney films among your favorites? Being a Bluth fan, do you like his Fievel films? Did you enjoy Anastasia?

TM: An American Tail was a great film, with fantastic animation that was only surpassed by the sequel. The effects art when Fievel's sister is spinning around with the water and the carpet changes color where it hits is just incredible. And the music was great, too. :)

However, Anastasia once again fell victim to the same thing that Pocahontas did: historical inaccuracy. Also, Fox Studios tried to show off their budget for an animated film by placing really gaudy CGI in places where conventional animation would have done just nicely. Case in point: the music box. All-in-all, however, I found Anastasia to be a very enjoyable film, with one of the coolest and most gruesome villain deaths in animation history. Even better than Scar's. :)

DC: Here in Boston, one sometimes gets to see festivals of animated shorts, things by folks such as Sally Cruikshank (who made "Quasi at the Quackadero") and Nick Park (who made the "Wallace and Grommit" features). Have you had much chance to see any of this stuff? Just curious.

TM: I've seen the Wallace and Grommit films. They deserve every Academy Award they've gotten. :)

DC: Which TLK character is your favorite?

TM: I suppose my favorite TLK character would have to, because I'm egocentric and am a character unto myself. :) Seriously, though, I've never been able to answer two questions people pose to me about TLK:

1.) Why do you like the film so much?

2.) What's your favorite character?

I love all of them so much that if I answer one, I betray the others. Although every time I look at Nala, she soars up to the number one spot. :) I suppose that's because of her lithe, sleek form, her shimmering eyes, her wonderful voice...

Ahem. Excuse me.

{insert cold shower here} :)

DC: How did you discover the TLK fandom base?

TM: A 9600 bps modem and Brian Tiemann's Unofficial Lion King Archive. I remember stealing the computer away and downloading every picture I could get my mitts on. As a matter of fact, I still have a ZIP disk with all of them on there. Ah, nostalgia. :)

DC: Approximately when did you discover the fan base? And what prompted you to start looking for TLK sites? I know you said before that you liked the film but weren't necessarily blown away by it initially. Was this just done on a whim?

TM: I started looking around for sites after the Christmas of 1994, when I received the TLK Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (OMPS). I sat in my room for days on end listening to the music. As a matter of fact...

{reaches over and pops the CD into his computer}

Ahhh, better. :)

As I was saying, I mostly listened to the instrumental tracks since I've always been a fan of classical and ambient music. This CD was what prompted me to grab all the movie soundtracks that I could get my hands on. Crimson Tide soon became a favorite movie of mine because of the soundtrack that Hans Zimmer did for it.

After school let back in, I began to dig around for fan sites--especially Jesus, I can't believe that I still remember that site address. :) I have to credit my fandom to the soundtrack.

DC: So it was the music that really got you exploring TLK and its fandom further. Obviously, you're very fond of music, as you've mentioned other favorite soundtrack albums. Which classical music do you like best, if any? Which pop groups are your favorites?

TM: I love the music of Beethoven and Gershwin, and I can sing Gilbert and Sullivan's "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" by heart. :) Other classical artists I like are Bach and Wagner.

"Wagner's music isn't as bad as it sounds." --Mark Twain.

And Mannheim Steamroller kicks serious booty. :)

As for pop groups, my absolute favorite has to be the Dave Matthews Band. They have consistently put out wonderful CD's and they are a total trip to see in concert. I wish them the best.

Other pop groups I like include The Wallflowers and Live (although Live isn't really "pop"). I have CD's by Tool and NIN, too, so my musical tastes are pretty well-rounded.

No Country Music, though. :)

DC: It seems as if you may be a bit isolated in your TLK fandom. Do you find you're unique in that respect in your corner of Alabama?

TM: {BIG grin} I find myself unique no matter where I go. :)

But yeah, I feel a little isolated, and that contrasts a lot with my relative position to Orlando as the TLK fan's mecca. I've been there, by the way, and even got to see the TLK stage show. That was awesome. :)

As for other TLK fans, I've slowly showed a few personal friends what I think is so great about TLK. I remember some of the female dormitory at my old school spent a weekend with my TLK video, going through it and trying to pick out things that the characters did that embodied me the most. They decided that I was most like Simba.

DC: Do you have a web page? What's the address, if so?

TM: Not as yet, but graphics are in the planning stages, as is the HTML code. :) There's a tiny bit of it up at

but going there would be an exercise in futility. :)

DC: You originated the TLK code, if memory serves. Tell me more about that.

TM: Yeah, that was my evil doing. :) There's really not much to tell about it. I was surfing the web one day and came across the Furry and Geek Codes, and got the wicked idea of adapting it to TLK, and that was that. After a few hours of planning and HTML coding (there are a lot of <UL>'s in that thing), I put it up, and it's been a staple in the TLK community ever since. I'm happy that so many people have used it, and decoders/encoders have sprung off since then. :)

Shameless plug:

DC: You're also a Saint in the First Church of Simba and have set up your own branch church, I believe. Anything to say about your little sect?

TM: Yeah. We're boycotting all the other Baptists that are boycotting Disney. :) And we've tracked down the source of our recessive genetic disorder epidemic. We're eating antelope that are related to us! Aaah! :)

DC: {laughs} The Baobabtists, isn't that what the sect is called?

TM: Yep. The Southern Baobabtist Church of Simba. Revivals and Family Reunions weekly. :)

"Praise Simba. Hallelujah!" :)

DC: Do you have any TLK merchandise?

TM: Of course! I've got about ten posters or so, all different, and two of those are framed. One came from a theatre marquee that I filched after hours a long time ago. :)

I have every lion plushie except for Scar (and Mufasa, if such exists). I have a Nala Beanie Baby, two Scar figurine mugs, countless floatie pens, four keychains, three watches (including the Indiglo one), "The Lion King on Broadway" book, and an autographed copy of The Art of The Lion King, signed by Rafiki himself, Robert Guillaume.

There are a multitude of other things, including the infamous TLK Shaving Kit. No toothbrush, though. :)

DC: {laughs} Gotta have that toothbrush if you're a TLK fan. :)

TM: No kidding--although I must confess that I've never fully "gotten" that reference. Funny nonetheless. :)

DC: Sounds like a dandy collection. Which item is your favorite?

TM: Gotta be the Art of the Lion King book. I met Mr. Guillaume and shook his hand. He signed the book, "To Trey, All the best," his name, and then "Rafiki." I'll never forget that day.

Afterwards, I had people in the Disney Store nearby offering me upwards of $300 for it. Nah-uh. :)

DC: Which piece of TLK merchandise would you consider to be the most unusual or strangest? Which is the most humorous? And I wonder if they're the same item.

TM: It's gotta be the Shaving Kit. Now that I know the benefits of shaving, I've just got to wonder about the ironic futility of a razor with no blades. Sends me into fits of laughter just thinking about it. :)

DC: I understand you have an unusual story about a particular TLK tee-shirt you own. Not one you actually bought in a store, if the rumors I've heard are true.

TM: Oh my god, where did you hear about that?! Did I send that story to the list? Oh, jeez. :)

Yeah, I've got an unusual story about a TLK shirt. Here goes:

I was in the Montgomery Mall and was walking by the Food Court when I saw a lady wearing the loudest TLK shirt I had ever seen. It's black with gold silhouettes of the characters. The center of the front of the shirt is the title in black letters on a bright orange background, with black silhouettes on the bottom of the orange.

I had never seen it before, so I stopped the lady and said hi, then asked her where she had gotten the shirt. She said at Wal-Mart, but it was a gift to her about three years ago. I have no idea what prompted me to do it, but I then asked her if I could buy the shirt from her, right off her back! She sort of looked at me for a moment, and then said that she hadn't another shirt to wear. I said that was okay, and I offered to buy her a new shirt for $25 dollars if she would let me have that one. After conferring with her husband (a wonderful man, by the way), we went down to Lane Bryant and she picked out a shirt she liked. She took off the TLK shirt, put the new one on, and I paid for the new one.

And that's how it happened. :)

DC: {laughs} A priceless story. Nothing will keep a true fan from his favorite shirt. :)

TM: I also saw a white one in the same fashion sometime later, but I was out of cash or I would have bought that one from her, too! I did stop the lady to tell her the story. :)

DC: Do you participate on the TLK MUCK, #IRC, or other such entities?

TM: I'm on TLK MUCK as Tam, and African Tales MUCK as Tamarik. I participate in IRC more than I should, but not usually in Lion King channels--or at least as much as I used to. I'm Tamarik there, too. :)

DC: Tell me more about your MUCK characters. How are they like and unlike you personally?

TM: They are absolutely nothing like me. :) They've got a yiffy streak behind them, and I don't play them as much as I used to. But they're nice chars if you get to know them.

My TLK MUCK char is just a panther cub; he's a sickly sort, but has a big heart for his tiny frame. My ATM char is an adult panther, and he's a loner, really. He roams about and chats with pretty much anyone he comes across. He loves cubs (stop snickering in the back, Nalina!) :) and is a healer in his spare time.

Out of those two, the ATM character most embodies me.

DC: I know you said it's tough to answer, but I have to ask. What makes TLK so special for you?

TM: Run! It's "THE QUESTION!" :)

I can't answer that, and I haven't been able to for four years. It's the "indefinable something" that you feel when you first look at the person who years later is the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. It's the scent in a spring breeze, the embrace of a friend, the tear of a child. It's hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park and winning the Red Sox their first World Series in so many years. It's something you wake up in the morning and look at, seeing it smile back at you.

It's swatting the fly before it gives you malaria. :)

It's your first kiss.

It's what you love. Plain and simple.

DC: That's a really lovely way to put it, Trey.

TM: It's the only way I can. :)

DC: TLK touches some of its fans in a tangibly personal way (some folks identify with Simba and his trials, for example). Does anything of this nature play a part in your liking this film?

TM: It does, a lot. I've always loved big cats and animals in general, and so TLK was a very personal experience. It hit close to home, I suppose you could say. :)

I've often wanted to be something other than a human, and those wants have ranged from a lion to a panther to a bird. I don't really care which, though. :)

DC: You're especially known around the TLK fandom as an excellent fanfic and fan poetry writer. The first piece I remember seeing of yours was the poem "My Son Was Born Today." Was that your first piece of fan writing?

TM: It wasn't my first work, as "Worlds Apart" was the very first thing I began working on. "My Son Was Born Today" was the accumulation of a couple of days effort of finding an odd meter and rhythm and working with it as best I could. I wasn't online as solidly then as I am now, so I missed the acclaim it got, although some have told me it turned the fandom on its ear. :)

DC: Tell me about your other fanfic and poems besides "My Son Was Born Today." If I'm not mistaken, you've been very prolific.

TM: Well, in the last TLK Character Encyclopedia, I had the most entries, I believe. These are just what I can pull off the top of my head:

"Worlds Apart"--unfinished, but influencing a current project.
"Simba's Memoirs"--dead project.
"Dreams of Precedence"--completed, only full-sized work.
"Immaculate Conception"--How Nala came about. :)
"The Fourth King"--a TLK Christmas story.
"Requiem"--Ode to Antos and Joe (you both will be missed).
"Moonlight Sonatas"--my only released story that "you don't want your mother to see." ;)
"For All Time"--a recent explanation on why Zazu doesn't age.
"A TLK Quantum Leap into the StarTreX-Files"--the name says it all.

I'm racking my brain here... :)

"Sisters"--another dead project.
"Stranger in the Pride Lands 2"--current project.
"WipeInfo"--about the deletion of the list.
"How TLK Changed My Life"--hooboy. Let's not go into that.... :P
"Dream"--where Chad keeps changing into a lion cub.

That's everything I can remember right now--at least everything with a title. ;)

DC: I've read some of your work, especially the shorter pieces such as "Immaculate Conception," "The Fourth King," and "For All Time." Excellent work! There often seems to be a wonderfully and genuinely warm undercurrent to the TLK fanfic of yours I've read.

TM: Thank you very much. If there's one thing missing in many writers' lives, it's criticism and feedback. :)

I try to write for emotion, not a plotline. The story will go where it goes, but that is second to what the characters feel, and the emotional disputes and hardships they encounter.

DC: I haven't had a chance to read your magnum opus, "Dreams of Precedence." Could you give me a teaser about the story--what it involves?

TM: Tanabi, Simba's son, is having bad dreams. He is envisioning watching his parents killed in battle and himself, too. Some rogue lion is trying to take over the pride in his dreams--and what's worse, it seems like his dreams are coming true.

And the rogue lion has a past...something to do about a queen? ;)

DC: I found your recently-posted TLK "true confessions" story (entitled "Another Last Chance") to be a fine and heartfelt essay. Could you recap it briefly for those who haven't read it yet?

TM: After reading Simba Wiltz's own essay (my god, he's a wordy fellow), :) I decided to post my own since my graduation was coming up at the time. There's really not much to express other than TLK's music got me into the fandom, and I've found lifelong friends through it. I've broken hearts, and the essay was an attempt to mend them as I passed through a watershed in my life. I just hope that those I apologized to and thanked read it. I love all these folks very much.

DC: You've got a new TLK fanfic on the horizon?

TM: Yes. I've got my sequel to "Stranger in the Pride Lands" in the works as we speak. A shot out to Simba Wiltz and both Daves Morris and Braun for help on this one. :)

DC: Did you catch the writing bug through TLK, or had you been putting pencil to paper creatively before this time?

TM: Well, it instilled it in me, but I had been writing long before TLK. However, it was poetry and stories that, if read, would get me sent to a shrink in a heartbeat. I was never the most upbeat of kids. :) TLK "brightened" my writing outlook, although I'm still typecast as the "Poe of the TLK jetset." :)

DC: I hear you write non-TLK fanfic as well. Tell me about this other side of yourself.

TM: Yep. I've got a novel in the planning stages right now. All I need is a plot. :)

I also write TF stories, or stories having to do with physical transformation. Most of these have to do with a story universe called "Winds of Change" (WoC). There are a great many other writers out there that do stories like these, not only in WoC, but in other "universes" as well.

Surprisingly enough, my own character in WoC isn't a lion, but a sparrow hawk. :)

DC: I'm interested to know more about the "Winds of Change" universe.

TM: WoC is a universe created by Jon Sleeper in 1996. According to the story, on June 17, people above the age of puberty begin to change into random anthropomorphic beings. This resulted from an evil scientist merging three universes together in an escape attempt from our own universe. One of these universes was destroyed, and the other two merged like soap bubbles in a sink. But one was human and one was furry, and so an equilibrium had to be established. For that, people in the human universe became furries, while the children stayed human.

Until puberty, of course. ;) That's when the Change would have their way with them, and they would become a random vertebrate. However, if their mom was a wolf and so was their dad, that wouldn't necessarily mean that the child would be, too. In WoC, phenotypes do breed phenotypes, but human phenotypes, not anthro.

The physics of this new conglomerate universe are screwy, too, but not so much that life can't exist. This being the case, abilities called Powers began to spring up. People began to teleport, gain empathy or telekinesis, the ability to disintegrate matter, and other wild things. There is a list of Powers out there, at:

Hope that clears things up. :)

DC: Which books and poetry do you like best? Which writers would you consider to be most influential on what you do?

TM: The Romantic Period of American literature is the greatest influence on my writing, period. My favorite authors would have to be Thoreau, Poe, Emerson, and Whitman--Poe especially; his mixture of darkness with damnable redemption is one of the traits I most cherish about him. I love Whitman for his rambling sentence structure, and the others for their transcendental thinking and metaphor.

Not that other writers haven't influenced me. The greatest poets of all time, T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, are extremely influential. I also have a copy of Bierce's "The Devil's Dictionary" sitting on my desktop. The list goes on and on. :)

DC: Being from Alabama, do any of the obviously "Southern" writers, such as William Faulkner or Tennessee Williams, strike your fancy?

TM: Gadzooks, Faulkner is way over my noggin. :) I tried reading The Sound and the Fury and failed miserably. I have a new respect for stream-of-consciousness writers.

And Williams is da bomb! :) Our Town and The Glass Menagerie are two of the greatest non-Shakespearean plays ever to be written. :)

DC: Different writers write in different ways. Give us a glimpse into your approach--a peek into your private workshop, if you will. :)

TM: The end comes first. I find an ending to a story and then I work from there. If I know where I want to go, then I can get there from anywhere, right?

The way I write is like planning a trip. First, I have to have a destination. Second comes a starting point. Now, I can go somewhere. Let's drive up to the highway some, smooth and easy plot building, introduce some characters as new cars come on the road. Someone passes you, you have a cameo. :)

Then, boom! Plot twist, and you have to exit to some godforsaken back road that leads into the boonies. You find the road getting narrower and narrower, until finally it's a dirt road. This is building up to the big moment!

The bridge is out just ahead and the cars are all following you. You have to speed up and try to jump it, or take an eternity turning back and trying to get back on the interstate.

Of course, you jump it. Story climax, and when you make it to the other side, there's a sign that says I-65 is on your left, exit one mile. :) Up you go, onto the highway, and back onto the road.

Now, maybe there's another exit, or maybe the cars following all exit themselves.

It's your story. :)

{Trey at this time gets sick of the TLK OMPS and puts in "Rhythm of the Pride Lands"}

DC: You just graduated from high school, am I right? Tell me a bit about the place you went to.

TM: I went to the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Alabama. It's an accelerated-learning school divided into six different departments: Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Theatre, Creative Writing, and Math/Science. I, myself, attended Math/Science. :)

The school accepts students only by audition. To enter the school, I had to take and pass a college level SAT in 8th grade (which I did) and then be interviewed out of a multitude of other students. Since I lived in Wetumpka at the time and the school is in Birmingham, I had to dorm up there for a small fee. It's a very difficult school, with honored staff and excellent curriculum.

At least it was before I got there. :)

DC: Are you planning on attending college? If so, where, and what major are you considering?

TM: I am going to attend Auburn University in Montgomery, earning money and taking Chemistry and Biology classes for a few years. After that, I'm hoping to transfer to Auburn's Main Campus and major in Veterinary Medicine. :)

DC: Interesting that you don't seem keen on English as a career. Of course, being a veterinarian pays the bills (like student loans) off much better.

TM: I've considered English as my major, and Computer Science, too. But I'm not sure about Veterinary Medicine, either. My future is up in the air right now. :)

But yes, being a vet does pay the bills off easier. :)

DC: What hobbies do you have? I understand you've been known to bowl a few frames now and again.

TM: Yes, I bowl, have for quite a long time. :) I have a 143 average in the league I sub for. For more technical information, I throw a Rhino Pro ball with a single weight offset at 14 pounds, fingertipped. :)

Other hobbies include baseball and football, Playstation, and Quake 1 and 2. I'm just breaking into Quake level editing. :)

DC: Which baseball and football teams are you a fan of? I'd guess that St. Louis, New Orleans, and Nashville would be the closest cities with sports teams to where you live.

TM: Ah, you forgot Atlanta. Go Braves! :)

Really, the Braves and Florida Marlins are my favorite baseball teams. But my football tastes go with the 49ers and Broncos. Attabot, John Elway! :)

I've never been to any pro sports games, but I have been on the 50 yard line at Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn, playing the National Anthem. :) And I've also caught a home run at a Troy State baseball game. :)

DC: You mentioned a number of MTV programs as your favorite television shows. Were you a fan of "Beavis and Butthead," "Ren and Stimpy," and similar off-the-wall cartoons?

TM: "Beavis and Butthead" is great. I don't see why some folks get so mixed up in why the show is bad for people. What about "South Park?" I hear comments on it, but people are taking it way better than "Beavis and Butthead." Jeez, talk about your double standards. :P

And for the record, "Ren and Stimpy" was on Nickelodeon first. ;) They were good for a while, but then they started getting a wee bit too twisted for me.

I don't watch much TV though, since I've usually got myself stuck to the computer monitor (although if anyone out there wants to send me a TV tuner card, I'd be most appreciative). ;)

DC: So Jim Carrey is your favorite actor?

TM: It's a tough choice, actually. I picked Carrey because he matches my personality most, and plus he can really act well. And I'm not talking about all those rubber-faced comedies he's done. Go check out The Truman Show to see what I mean.

DC: I see you're a big seafood lover like me! What's your favorite shrimp dish? And being an Alabama boy, you're not far from the home of Cajun and Creole dishes--do you like shrimp prepared this way?

TM: Friday and Saturday nights, you could probably find me in Shoney's at the all-you-can-eat seafood bar. My favorite is boiled shrimp, cold and on ice. I love peeling the skins off and eating them that way. :)

As for Cajun and Creole dishes, I have a very low threshold for spicy foods, but I'll get blackened shrimp every now and then. :)

DC: Does your love of seafood extend as far as raw seafood? Such as clams or oysters on the half-shell? Or sushi?

TM: I've had oysters before, and probably never will again. I'm not big on uncooked foods. :)

I got sick on the Devil's Fingers in crab before and that turned me off it.

DC: Shawshank Redemption, Crimson Tide, and Dead Poets Society are among your favorite films. What do you like about them?

TM: Crimson Tide: Mostly for the score, but a lot of it is the edge-of-your-seat roller-coaster ride it puts you through.

Shawshank Redemption: Sorry to say it, but neither TLK nor Forrest Gump deserved the Oscar for best picture in 1994--this did. An incredible adaptation from the Stephen King short story; it has action, drama, and (like the title says) redemption.

Dead Poets Society: Robin Williams's first big dramatic role and he nails it. The story is incredible, and mirrored my life at the time it was released. Since then, Williams was in Good Will Hunting--and Will Hunting is me to a T. Period. End of story. I sat in the movie theatre watching it and was thinking, "My god. They've put my life on film. Holy {bleep}."

DC: I'll close this interview by saying that I really enjoyed having the chance to get to know you better. Let me extend my best wishes to you in all things TLK-related and not. It's been a real pleasure.

TM: Sure has been, Dave. Thanks for having me here for this interview, and best wishes to you and yours.

Just gonna take this time to say "hi" to Jon, Bri, Bry, Doug, Dave M. and B. and S., Sam, and Nal. Hugs and loves to you all. :)

"Y'all come back now, ya hear?" :)

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