Friday, September 18, 2009

Pheaturing Victor Langlois


Hello, welcome to a Friday entry of the Peverett Phile. How are you? So, did you Kayne West interrupted Patrick Swayze's funeral saying Michael Jackson's funeral was better? Osama bin Laden released a new 11-minute tape where he calls President Obama “powerless” in the war in Afghanistan. That was for the first six minutes... he gave Taylor Swift the last five to finish her acceptance speech. According to a new survey of all the social-networking sites, Twitter had the highest percentage of older users. In fairness, most of them just kept creating new accounts because they forgot their passwords. Twitter also had the highest percentage of users who called their kids and said, “OK, I signed up. Now what do I do?” That guy who threw the shoe at President George W. Bush was released from prison after serving nine months. He said he was tortured — they made him bathe every day. Former President Jimmy Carter said that Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s speech last week was “based on racism.” When Joe Wilson heard that he said, “Aw, I can’t get mad at Jimmy Carter. He’s white.” Joe Wilson is now the only United States congressman to be formally rebuked for speaking out while the president was giving an address. That could explain his Secret Service code name: “Kanye.” The historic final letter written by Mary Queen of Scots before her execution is going on display next week at the National Library of Scotland. Historians say the letter is in pristine condition. Except the top part is cut off. People magazine’s 2009 Best Dressed issue comes out this Friday. They gave “Best Maternity Style” to Nicole Richie. Coming in a close second? Kevin Federline. Of course, if I was really famous it would be me. Alright, in the last few entries or so I have been showing you different books Logan has in his collection when he was little and I have been shocked at some of the subject matter and titles kid books have. So, as a public service I thought I would show you what is out there so when you go to Borders to buy your own kid a book you will know what to avoid. Man, did I build that up enough? Anyway, take a look at this book Logan has.

I remember seeing it in the past but I thought it was about the X-Men. Okay, kids, it's time for the hottest game on the internet. Let's play...

Gotta love the internet, right?

Patrick Swayze: Dirt Dancin' is too simple, and "Somebody sent Swayze to the coroner" is too obscure. Ghost? Fuck. This is when writing a blog is just plain HARD.

Mary Travers:
If she had a hammer, she'd still be dead.

Henry Gibson: "The Afterlife" ... by Henry Gibson.

The "Mukden Incident" occurs when Imperial Japanese troops occupying northern Manchuria blow up a portion of the railway near Mukden (now Shenyang), blame the destruction on Chinese saboteurs, and commence the annexation of Manchuria.
24-year-old starlet Peg Entwhistle dives head first from the letter "H" of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign in Los Angeles. She is the first person to commit suicide at the landmark.
Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 thus establishing the CIA.
A sleeping Jimi Hendrix dies in London from of a barbiturate overdose when chunks of vomited tuna sandwich wind up in his lungs, causing him to choke.
The four KISS members release their solo albums. Rock on!
NBC television premieres "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo", a spin-off of "BJ and the Bear". Claude Akins stars as Elroy P. Lobo, the slightly corrupt sheriff of Orly County, who faces his first misadventure in "The Day That Shark Ate Lobo."
France abolishes capital punishment, relegating its noble guillotine to a museum. The machine had not seen active duty for four years.
Two weeks after being outed in the New York weekly QW, attorney John Schlafly admits in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner that he is homosexual. This causes a certain amount of consternation for his mother, archconservative gay rights opponent Phyllis Schlafly.
Vitas Gerulaitis is killed in his sleep in the guest cottage of a friend's Long Island estate. The professional tennis player dies from carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a faulty propane swimming-pool heater.

Okay, today's guest is the first author in the Peverett Phile Book Club. He is a first time published author with the book "Mr. Lincoln Was A Robot". Please welcome to the Phile, my friend... Victor Langlois.

Me: Hello, Victor, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Victor: Great as usual, thank you. I continually defend my position as an all out positive person all the time... but sometimes that isn't always the case.

Me: Your book "Mr. Lincoln Was A Robot" is the first book in the Peverett Phile Book Club. You must be proud, right?

Victor: Proud isn't the word... THANKFUL, I love the attention, as well as the free marketing. Seriously, it is wonderful to have someone take an interest, and someone who read the book, too. I want to get the story out.

Me: Let's talk about the title of the book, Victor. Hearing it someone might think it was a science fiction story. Reading it, though, it makes sense in the first few pages. For those pholks that didn't read it, explain what the title means.

Victor: First, I love the "ph" when appropriate in your interviewing... it is so relevant. True, it is easily understood in only the first 3 pages, but because I have been telling this story for some time, I discovered the highlight, or up-swing in the story was in the phrase, or question from my mother to my 10 year old self, "Did you know that was a robot?" in regards to me seeing the Audio Animatronic Abe Lincoln at age 10 in Disneyland: By the way, that was 1983, and technology and the secrets behind our wizarding world weren't all that in your face, or easily accessible as they are today. So, the name seemed to be a HOOK, and starts the whole bloody story off on the right foot.

Me: How did the title come to you?

Victor: Really, I am serious when I tell the story of how I came to be here, or love the Disney theme parks: All because Mr. Lincoln was a Robot. It seemed fitting to thank him for it with the biggest honor, a book title. And it honors my mother as well.

Me: Okay, before we get more into the book, I have to ask you what made you write a book about yourself? Some must think you have a huge ego. Who is this guy writing a whole book on himself? Who does Victor Langlois think he is?

Victor: Sometimes I do have an ego... but it is one of those you create to help raise confidence throughout your life, differentiate yourself, and most importantly give a laugh. I have learned that I don't take my self too seriously, and that disarms people: Just check out my Facebook status sometimes. Surprisingly, there are many books out there about people, just people. Sometimes they are about famous people, but when they were no one in particular; just like you and me, and usually about a time that is not only relevant, but reminiscent to each of us. I am writing about a time in particular, a time that for whatever reason changed me, helped me evolve into who I am today, and why I am doing the things I do. It is a revelation, an epiphany we each have at some point... that perfect moment that defines us. I happened to take note of it, remember it, honor it, and now want to share it. Everyone shares being 10, but what was going on around that time is different for all of us. Everyone reaches 18 (well, we hope), and this is where my story end; however, it is a vision of the beginning. In those 8 years, I depict preteen and teenage life as a youth knowing outright what I wanted to do, and how I was going to do it. And not just a youth, but the youngest of 11 children in a small Pacific Northwest town who knew he work where robots came to life. But before I get there, I must change, mature, explore, experience, investigate, and most of all embarrass myself to get to where I needed to go. And believe me, for laughs, I lay countless moments on the table for everyone to engage in. Some of these are personal and some will hit hard personally with others. They will compare their lives to similar experiences and find these moments I display and showcase to the world as humorous, and often heartwarming looks into themselves and what they have become. All while laughing, I hope.

Me: Did you get a lot of questions on why you are writing a book like this from friends and family, or did you keep a secret?

Victor: For the most part I kept it a secret. Toward the end I told my family, and kept it quite basic: I am writing about why I came to Florida, why I was driven to be part of the Disney magic, and how I finally got there having lived through the perplexing and inconvenient adolescece. In the beginning, I tossed the information by my close friends here, but writing a book you plan to publish to the world is quite personal. It is like getting pregnant. you don't want to tell anyone until your are sure it's a go. When it was a go, I began to share more and more of the process and that made it more real and kept me on a roll. Yes, Peverett, my family became increasingly nervous. I didn't hear directly from siblings, but through the grapevine, some questioned why I would do it, and others assumed I was sharing intimate and dark secrets of the family. Well, I certainly don't want to turn your readers off, there is plenty of secrets and hidden feelings, and deep rooted stories that probably embarrass some of my siblings, but I practice telling funny tales and only slightly shocking stories. It is about me, for God's sake, they had nothing to worry about; as they are in it endlessly, I am only positive with my family... with a touch of sarcasm and jabbing.

Me: When did you start writing it and how long did you finish? Did you go through a lot of versions?

Victor: I began in March of 2008, and finished 3 months later on Father's Day. Now that was the initial draft. It was complete, but there was plenty of editing to do, as well as some re-writes. I must admit there was a section that upset a family member to a point I understood, relented, and deleted some unncessary references to divorce and its effects on family. Mostly, though, I kept adding, and adding, and adding. As it was finished, I told the world, and as I did, more and more surfaced, and I couldn't stop. I have room for another whole "Secrets from the Baby of the Family" sort of book if you know what I mean.

Me: Hey, have you heard of the author Charles-Victor Langlois?

Victor: I do. Only because I have Googled my name so often, he comes up a lot. Obviously famous... and French. Since I am French Canadian, I was interested. But frankly, not enough to explore what he wrote... and I can't read French.

Me: Victor, I read your book and laughed, cried and sat there stunned. Did your family read it? What did they think?

Victor: Stunned? Pray tell, I can't wait to hear what laid your mouth agape. I mean, as I wrote it there were moments I told myself, what the hell are you writing this for? But then I always replied, "I'm 36, still alive, and made it through some times that might embarrass me, but are really not very different than so many stories of others. They just haven't written them down." I bet the book will make readers remember their own precious moments, and perhaps even more important, the direction they grew and matured through that influential time of a teenager. As far as I know, and for some psychological reason, I do not ask my family if they read it, I understand that a niece, a couple of sisters, a sister in law, a brother, my father, and my mother (right before her death) read it completely. I was told the same thing from my father, I was from my friends: "It is like you are right there, telling me these stories. It is a good conversation with you, even when you aren't there." I suppose I wrote like I spoke, and that is very much of who I am. I talk on a level that includes everyone, and I hope I can write that same sense of comfortability.

Me: I was touched how close you were to your mom and sorry she passed away. Did she get to read the book? What did she think?

Victor: She bought me a doll with brushable hair. We were very close. I don't think I was a mama's boy... for long. As a child, I certainly did not like to be away from her, as a young man, I respected and appreciate what she did and didn't get to do for the 11 children she raised so well. My mother and I were connected in a fresh way, we shared and were close... but I still can't put in words how. Reading the book gives the reader, and myself more of a look into that relationship and demonstrates it better than I can say here. It was dedicated to both my mother and father. She did read it, or at least had it read to here before she passed away in May of this year. She was proud of me to say the least. And she shed a tear.

Me: You talk about your first sexual experience and your coming out, Victor. Those are some very brave things to talk about. Your first experience was very funny though. Without giving to much away, tell the Phile readers what happened.

Victor: I'm 16, in the forest of San Jose, Ca. (vacation... I'm from Washington state), and a bold stranger asked me if I wanted a beer, a cigarette... I simply declined, and then went for the whole hog in an exciting and shocking experience that was my first of any kind. Although I remember it being titilating, I was petrified afterwards and ran through the darkness to clean myself up, before re-emerging at the camp site to say goodnight to my oblivious parents. I don't want to repeat it here, cause it is darn funny when coming across it on relatively early in the book. Brave? Again, when you are older, those stories are a fabric of life that helps people that know you, understand you more, feel closer. For those who don't know you it, it helps them connect with themselves by relating to it somehow. Maybe a bit sheepish when I know everyone knows it, but I love the attention, too.

Me: The saddest part was when you left home, Victor. Was that scene very hard to write?
It was difficult to write, but only because I was reliving something in detail that for so long I didn't think of. Leaving a mother, whose sacrifice to let me go, in a time of great difficulty in our family, was more than rare, it was precious. I didn't have to re-write or doctor it. The way I wrote it is exactly how I remember and see it. The emotions flowed as I type (and I am a good and fast typist) and when you have the passion boiling, it just relays to the paper that easy.
Knowing my mother also relived that moment in detail before she passed makes me happy. She knows, if she didn't before, my 18 year old sorrow and fear as I drove out of the driveway, smiling as I waved to my siblings, and pensive when glancing at her stoic face in the upstairs window, barely able to make a wave. Like I said, it was good that I drove.

Me: If you didn't go to Disneyland and see the Lincoln show, where do you think you would do?

Victor: Do you mean back when I was 10? Nothing would be the same. There would be no book, not of any kind. It is kind of like trying to grasp the infinity of the universe. You cannot guess a different pass and its results once you have truly lived so much of the one you did. Would there have been a vacation? Probably, would there have been my love for the incredible unexplainable magic and special emotion that spoke only to me... NO. I wouldn't even have been the same. There was my age, having a best friend move away the summer before, being the youngest of 11, knowing you were different, being bullied, etc. Hoping to find a special friend replacement, I didn't fit into a niche at school or even with my siblings, Disneyland became that friend, and it cried with me when I left back in 1983. I would come back... and I did. Sort of.

Me: You currently work at Disney World now. Any plans to work at Disneyland in the future?

Victor: Probably not. I came to WDW in Florida because I knew someone I could live with while trying to get a job. I had only been here once and knew right away the opportunities were endless. CALIFORNIA is too expensive... but if I become wealthy... I'm there.

Me: Victor, all your chapter titles have sub-titles I guess you call it, even the book has a sub-title... "Or Why I Left Home". Is that something you knew you were gonna do before you when you wrote the book or after?

Victor: After it was all done, to be honest. When you are finished, there is a sense of "how can I make this even more my own, special." I liked the formula of the title, and when deciding to go with Chapter titles, a similar two part title came to mind. When I finalized that one, I realized... Damn, I got to do them all. Thank you, glad you notice them.

Me: Victor, I can almost imagine the book being like a "Wonder Years" type TV show? Would you ever try to get it marketed as a show?

Victor: I have thought play, dramatic series, or a movie like "A Christmas Story", different only cause it would encompass 8 years. So, I suppose YES. I am not sure what media or discipline it is right for, but I like the idea of having it relived in a visual medium.

Me: What about an audio book version of it, eh?

Victor: I haven't thought of that really. Don't know if it would work well... even though that contradicts people review of it being very conversational. Have to think about it more.

Me: When I finished it I wanted more. So, are you working on a sequel? Please tell me you are.

Victor: Absolutely. Obviously, while I work at the Vacation Kingdom of the World, I am limited of telling the stories that came after the end of Mr. Lincoln. It does elude to plenty more of what I came for and what I became... and what I think of it. I will tell you there will be two more books. One about my time as an hourly, and the last book about being a salaried member of management. However, for the time being, I am writing a little more about the truth of growing up as the baby of 11 kids. 4 girls, 7 guys, parents married the whole time, living in a small town... which by the way, they all still live in. I do want to share something personal here (if I haven't already), I am haunted by nostalgia. When people say he/she is romantic, they get flowers and chocolates on their mind. When I say I am a romantic, it is in the true sense of the word: I don't live in the past, but live for it. I can't help it, and often get lost in a dreamlike vision of my past, how perfect it was, even when it wasn't. I romanticize the past with loving memories and nostalgia rushes me like a linebacker on game making play. Surprising me, I sometimes get jettisoned back in time, and sometimes feel my eyes water. I have come from somewhere, I won't forget. That past, funny, sad, sheepish, and exciting, as it was made me who I am. I don't want to forget and I need to tell the stories for me as much as for others to enjoy.

Me: Victor, I have plugged the book for the last few weeks and told the Phile Phans where to buy it off Where else can you buy it? And do you sell autographed copies?

Victor: A lot of people buy it from Amazon. You can buy it from, the publisher, and I will be debuting a new personal website for the book soon. But you can order it from any major booksellers website, or have it ordered in the store. I just didn't market it enough, and it costs for an unknown to get it on a popular shelf. But you can buy it, it is out there, NOT out of print and waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. I don't sell autographed copies. But in Spring of 2010, I will be having a book signing here in Orlando. More details to come of course. Bring your copy or buy it then. But I hope you buy it NOW. Thanks everyone.

Me: Victor, thanks for taking part and letting the book be the first in the Book Club. I wish you luck and when the second one comes out, you are welcomed back.

Victor: Now that I have finished the interview, you have made me even more excited for my book, not to mention, being on your fantastic website. This is cool. You touch a lot of people and get to discuss a lot interesting and various topics. I am just happy I am one of those topics. Thank you, Jason, for your support and interest. For all your readers, hope this got you interested too. Thank you for taking time to get wrapped up in this little exercise in ego... and I want to thank all those who already purchased a copy due to your early plug here on the Peverett Phile. Thanks again, and good day to all ya.

"I don't read minds, I just read people. Common sensibility combined with constant awareness of the ever-changing world around me, I write and re-write my destiny daily." Victor J Langlois.

Thanks to Victor for a great interview. I really enjoyed his book, so please support him and purchase a copy and read it for yourself. Okay, are you ready to find out what the second book in the Peverett Phile Book Club is? I have not read it yet, but I am planning to, and again the author will be pheatured on the Phile. Here is the next book, kids.

I don't know how the second book got to be another autobiography but it is. On Monday's blog I will have more details on the book and who Mary Tamm is. In the meantime go to and check it out.


Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks again to Victor Langlois for a great interview and to Wikipedia for the history stuff. On Monday's Phile the guests will be
Andrew Brittell, the lead singer of the band Brightwood. Then a week from today it's famous drummer Liberty DeVitto. Have a good weekend and spread the word, not the turd. Bye, love you, bye.

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