If I had to pick out two of the most exciting moments in my life, when I felt completely alive, when I’d truly found my happy place it would be easy. The first was in 1993 in Gainesville, Florida – for no reason in particular a firework war had broken out between the punk house I was staying at (and would later move into) and a rival punk house half a block away. This was not the “throw a pack of firecrackers at someone’s feet and run away” firework warfare I was used to growing up in Florida and Texas, this was an all out assault. People were chasing each other down the street with roman candles, bottle rockets were flying in every direction, m80’s being chucked blindly in any open window and home made gunpowder pressure bombs sending shockwaves a block over. The smoke in the street was so thick you’d choke and if you could see 5 feet in front of you you were lucky. That might have been the moment when I decided I had to live in that house. A few years later, living in Chicago, I somehow ended up downtown when the Chicago Bull’s won yet another championship and the streets were full of people celebrating. Of course by celebrating I mean lighting trash cans on fire and throwing them into the streets, flipping cars, glass bottle exploding into walls left and right. All the friends I was with at the time took off but I hung back and just walked around for hours surrounded by the chaos. I couldn’t soak in enough of it, and I knew it would be gone the next day. The streets of Berlin just past midnight on New Years is a very close third.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like fireworks.