Posts Tagged ‘memories’

I ♥ NY (And Analogies)

May 3, 2010

It’s funny how your opinion of something can change over time.  I remember when I was around 13 I got my first electric razor.  This is a big step in a young man’s life.  About once a week when the time came, I’d announce to the world at large (way before Facebook status updates), “I’m going to shave now!!  ‘Cause, you know, I have to shave.  ‘Cause I’m a man.”  About 30 seconds later, I was ready to kill a grizzly bear with my bare hands and raw masculinity.

Nowadays, forget it.  It’s a nuisance and something I put off as long as possible.  Seriously, God.  Did man really need hair on his neck, some of the most sensitive skin on the body?  Methinks not.

The new just wears off certain things with exposure.  Some faster than others.  You don’t always feel your point of view changing.  You just wake up one day and realize that it has. It happens with stages of life, where you live, who you love.  Everything.  For me, New York City has been a series of ups and downs in this way.  Some days I can’t imagine being anywhere else, others I wonder what I was ever thinking moving back.

I think living here parallels quite nicely with a budding romantic relationship.  The inital exhilarating fall into love is very much like the tourist phase, when everything about that person amazes you and you hear yourself saying things like, “I just love the way she eats her broccoli.  It’s so cute.”

Fortunately, the amazement phase is a short one.  You’re still amazed by them but it’s more in deep appreciation than constant surprise.  As you settle into the relationship you find yourself getting so familiar with them that you function together seamlessly, able to anticipate each other’s feelings and actions.  In the same way that I automatically knew to leave a little early this morning because it was raining and the trains would probably be running slow.  

This city pisses me off to no end sometimes.  It’s chaotic and it has taken me hours to accomplish things that would only take 30 minutes if I just had a car or a Wal-Mart.  The crowds, the nasty summers, the constant assault on the senses.  But I choose to stay, because this city also has things and people I love and wonder if I can ever live without.  For every sweat-soaked wait for a train, there’s a gorgeous view and another park to play in.  And for every time someone you’re with infuriates you, there’s every time they make you feel alive.  And hey, she still looks cute when she eats her broccoli.

I guess the goal here is to keep things in perspective.  Something being broken-in isn’t the same as it being broken.  Be it relationships or residences. 

Happy Monday everyone.

– J

Caps Rock

April 20, 2010

When I first learned my letters I remember being fascinated with the capital/lowercase concept.  Two versions of the same letter to use at different times, one clearly more important than the other.  If something merited a capital letter then it was special.  I understood why you capitalized someone’s name, but didn’t quite get why the first word in each sentence was so important (I expressed this a few years ago in a bit more sarcastic approach).  And then I realized if you use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in a sentence it was like shouting, but without speaking.  I was easily impressed back then.  Still am now that I think about it.

Then I got to thinking about numbers.  Numbers are just as important as letters, right?  How come numbers only get one size and shape?  How come the first number in a sequence doesn’t get any special treatment? 

So, at the age of sevenish, I set out to right this injustice by creating the first capital numbers.  As I recall, all I did was just press down really hard with my pencil.  Essentially, I discovered how to bold something before being exposed to Microsoft Word.  So for a while I wrote all my numbers really dark and really big because I didn’t want them to feel left out.

I’m not sure why all that popped in my head this morning, but it was fun going back and thinking about it.  Hope you enjoyed another little glimpse into my mind as a child.


Moon Pies

February 22, 2010

The Moon Pie


Moon Pies are by description, marshmallow filling between two pieces of cake.  Moon Pies are in actuality, not.  The substance in the center remains a mystery, but the outer cookie-esque layers are a rare combination of graham cracker and cardboard (the cardboard gives it its nice, flakey consistency).

Moon Pies come in two flavors: Yellow and Brown.  The package might say Banana or chocolate, but trust me on this – the flavors are yellow and brown.


There are certain requirements for a Moon Pie to truly be a Moon Pie.  Most of them have to do with the overall experience more than the taste.
  • Must be purchased from the shelf of a gas station
  • Is curiously dry
  • The outer layer must stick to the wrapper when opened
  • Must be consumed with an R.C. Cola

The R.C. Cola is an interesting requirement, and probably not everyone will agree with me.   The combination of a Moon Pie and any soda* is something that only the digestive system of a 10 year old boy (or a mountain goat) can typically handle.  Much like soda and pop rocks, but not nearly as entertaining.


There are many bizarre and inexplicable facts of life in the universe.  One such universal anomaly is the age of the Moon Pie.  For unknown reasons, the expiration date marked on each individual Moon Pie is perpetually one month older than whatever date you find it. For example, if you find your Moon Pie in February 2010, the expiration marked on the package will be at least January 2010 (or earlier).  The greatest scientists in the world have been unable to explain this phenomenon, primarily because they haven’t tried.  My guess is that somehow time slowed down in old gas stations and we just never noticed.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief history of snackology.  If you’ve never had one and come across a Moon Pie, go for it.  They don’t taste “bad” exactly.  They just… taste.  I will however say that if this is what people eat exclusively on the moon, I’ll happily stay Earthbound a while.

– J

* Pronounced “coke”

A Sports Story

January 26, 2010

“I wish my shoes made that neat squeaky noise on the floor like everyone else’s.  I wonder why they don’t…”

loud whistle is blown

“Oh yeah, I’m playing basketball.  Everybody is running that way, so I guess I’ll do that too (and hope for a squeaky noise).”

Our hero searches the other end of the court for the number he has been assigned to guard.  He finds the number attached to an unfortunately large and menacing child.  Seeing that “guarding” is out of the question, he settles for “annoyingly bumping shoulders with”.

“Who’s bright idea was this? I’m 60 pounds and they have me guarding a child the shape of an athletic VW bus.”

They score.  Everybody heads down to the other end of the court.  He again follows.  Once there, he finds that something has suddenly been thrust into his hands.

“Oh my gosh…  I have the ball.  They gave me the ball!  This is it!!  This is my moment.  Wait, what am I thinking??  PASS!!!  Pass the bloody ball!!!  Somebody save me, please!  Crap, no one open.  Screw it.”

He spins to the left very dramatically and lunges with not quite pin-point accuracy.  The ball bounces around the rim a bit and goes through the goal.

“Aaaaah!  I made a goal!!!!   I get a high-five now, right??  The cool kid just high-fived me!  Now what?  Oh yeah, run back to the other end of the court.  Again.  *sigh*”

And so goes the story of the first and only shot I ever made in a real basketball game.

– J

Rimshot! Stat!

July 29, 2009

I waited tables for several years, and out of that I’ve got lots of stories.  A few of them are even fit to tell in public.  Such as this one:

One lunch rush, I found myself waiting on our family doctor (long retired) and 4 of his friends.  This would be the same man that assisted in my birth.  I hadn’t seen him in years and after a brief catch up, he introduced me to the others at the table, all doctors.

The time came to take their orders.  In guest order it came like this:

1 – Chicken Fried Steak
2 – Chicken Fried Steak
3 – Chicken Fried Steak
4 – Chicken Fried Steak
5 – Chicken Salad

Before walking away from the table I said, “So…  Four out of five doctors recommend our chicken fried steak?”

I got nothing.  Not so much as a smile from any of them.  I, however, thought it was hilarious.

– J

Topic? What Topic?

July 24, 2009

Well so much for being a “stay at home blogger”.

When you’re young you get asked all the time what you want to be when you grow up.  For me, around the age of 8 that answer could change ten times a week.  Like some kind of career oriented attention deficit disorder.   Fireman! Archeologist! Astronaut! *gasp* I got it! An archeologist who fights fires in space!!!

Clearly this was before I learned that space was a vacuum.  Or at least before I knew what that meant.  You can’t tell an 8 year old that there’s a vacuum in space, because he’ll just imagine his mom sucking up asteroids with a Hoover.  I had a similar problem with microwave towers.

“Dad, what’s on the top of that tower?”
“Well son, that’s a microwave emitter.”

Seemed a bit out of the way for popcorn to me.  And don’t even get me started on the time he told me there was a transformer on the  power line down the street.  See?  Puns literally come naturally to me.  I can’t help it.

Hmm…  This post was supposed to be about my career and looking for hobbies on the side.  I think I like this better.

Happy Friday!

– J

Did You Know…

May 2, 2008

 Things you might not know about J…

  • I eat the tops off my blueberry muffins before eating the rest of them.
  • My second semester of college (while still a theatre major) I developed a stage performance based on Metallica Songs complete with set designs and choreographed fight sequences.
  • I’m OCD about the keys on my key-ring.  They all have to face the same direction.
  • I think it’s sexy when a woman ties a man’s tie for him.
  • My cell phone is always on vibrate because I got tired of turning the ringer off for movies and dinners.
  • I once went 3 days without sleep just to see if I could.
  • Every time I’ve moved somewhere a significant distance, I’ve listened to Fly Away From Here by Aerosmith at some point during the trip.
  • In a stairwell at Sears in Longview Tx, there is a hole the exact shape of my head…
  • I’ve been involved in two car accidents. In both, I was driving a Dodge Neon less than a year old.
  • I have a fear of Dodge Neons less than a year old.
  • I’m totally convinced that my niece is cuter than your niece.

Some would call this a “meme” I think.  It’s not intended to be.  I just felt like posting some random facts for fun.  While these aren’t deep dark secrets by any means (nor things I’m particularly proud of), they are things not many people know.  If you’re feeling outgoing, share one of your own.

Happy Friday everyone!


The Little Red Store – part 2

August 29, 2007
By the time I hit Jr. High, I was getting my own movies from the back and renting them with my own money. Of course in high school there was too much going on to really be interested in rental movies at home with your parents, so it was always just sort of there. I don’t remember exactly when the gas pumps stopped working, but I do remember that it was ridiculously overpriced when they did. Like a whole $1.00 per gallon my sophomore year. Anyway, I didn’t interact with it very often anymore but it was still the setting for more than a few odd/interesting little stories. 
A few worth pointing out:

~My parents house is at the top of a blind hill. Most yo-yo’s took this blind hill at somewhere between 70 and 80 mph. Luckily for the subject of this story, he wasn’t. The cows behind our house (not ours) had gotten out one summer afternoon. More than once I have looked out the window to our front yard only to be greeted by a herd of bovine meandering across. That means it’s time to stop what you’re doing, call the neighbors who left their *!@# fence open, put on some boots you don’t mind getting “dirty” and herd them back where they belong. As the family posse got started, one made its way to the road just out of view of that blind hill. This is a bad thing. Sure enough, before we could coerce it back an unlucky fellow topped the hill. I’m not sure how fast he was going, but had he been going any faster we would have all become vegetarians very quickly. Fortunately he saw it in time to get out of the way. Unfortunately, he swerved hard to the right and into our ditch, overcorrected and went back across the road and turned a 180 onto the center of the circle drive at the store.  He, his car and the cow were all unharmed. But for the grace of God go idiots.

~There were two rather large oak trees out front of the store. One morning after a really bad thunder and lightning storm we were all amazed to see one split down the middle and laying across their driveway. About 75 yards from our house.
And finally… 

It’s a white truck. It will be a black truck and half melted by the time this story ends.
He pulled up to B&B to see what the smoke coming from under his hood was. Turns out it was an oil leak which caught fire not too long after he stopped the truck. Before the fire spread too far, this guy at least had enough sense to get in, put it in neutral and push it AWAY from the gas pumps. By now it had attracted plenty of attention from the neighbors and we were all settled in our lawn chairs with our popcorn enjoying the show (you might be a redneck IF?). The store owners were very interested by now and had called the fire department. The fire took off pretty good and when your vehicle is on fire, there’s really not much that can be done but wait. But not our intrepid hero. He went around to the back of the store and reappeared with a water hose. A nice thought, but this was an oil fire. That’s the last thing you do because you’re just going to spread it with a water hose and not put anything out. Picture the flames licking the side of the car from under the front left fender. Now picture a grown man with a water hose bent over at the waist spraying the hose into these flames while looking in. The flames got bigger and he took the hint, stepped back and waited. Eventually the flames died down when the oil burned up and there was nothing but thick black smoke coming off a medium-well S-10 pickup.
The good ol’ Whertheheckahwe volunteer fire department showed up about a half hour later.


The Little Red Store closed not too long after I graduated high school. The owners passed away a few years apart from one another and it more or less sat there while the bahaya grass consumed it and it became just a background eyesore.  One visit home from college I was shocked to see it cleaned up, the doors where open and it was BLUE!  A family had purchased it and had moved in a mobile home right behind it and are currently using it as storage (I think).  So while it doesn’t look anything like it used to, it’s nice to know that its still standing and being used.Hope you’ve enjoyed a few of my random childhood memories.  


The Little Red Store – part 1

August 27, 2007

Back when I was a just lowercase j. . .


I grew up on Hwy 449 in Whertheheckahwe, TX.  Directly across the road from my house was what was known as The Little Red Store.  The little red store was, in fact, a little orange gas station by the name of “B&B Moccasin Creek Store”.  Why it was called the little red store is beyond me, that’s just what I remember.  In front of it was a circle driveway and 2 old gas pumps.  That good old kind you could finish fueling, turn off at the pump and still squeeze another 10 ounces of gas out of.  It provided a great landmark for directions to our rural abode, assorted junk food, movie rental (all VHS), video games (8-bit Nintendo) and my first experiences of a Donkey Kong arcade game.  I frequented this store nearly every day since I was allowed to cross the street on my own.  After begging someone for a couple of dollars I’d trot over with youthful exuberance to rent entertainment of some kind and the nice lady running the place usually threw in a bit-o-honey or something for free.  She was a sweet old gal (in the eyes of a 9 year old).  She also had a husband who ran the store sometimes who I thought was funny.  He didn’t say funny things or have that old energetic spark of life.  Quite the opposite actually.  He had this odd way of moving in slow motion no matter what he did (a common impression by myself and other local tots… all 3 of us lol).  And boy did he talk funny.  His words always slurred together and he kind of looked like he was sleeping all the time.  Silly old man.  Of course later on I realized he had spent the entire years of my childhood completely hammered.  Nevertheless, the little red store is always in the background (quite literally) of all my childhood memories.