worth a thousand words


Ahhhhhhhhh…..

That’s one long sigh of relief; in honor of my vacation. As I write, I still have two full blissful days of relaxing to look forward to. Then it’s back to work for a mere three days, followed by another full week of loafing (as more relatives come to visit). Today is Sharaun and my 7th wedding anniversary – I remembered and got a card, she forgot and didn’t. Kinda feels good to not be the negligent one.

The vacation thus far has been outstanding. We spent two nights at the cabin down south, and then had a barbecue at the house with some friends and the in-laws (got to use the BBQ again). Today, which is Monday, as a whole herd of saps are reporting to the old sawmill for another day’s slave-labor, I’m sitting on the couch with no real motivation to get going. This is a good thing, however, believe me. We’re planning to go out to the lake today, let Keaton goof around on the shore and sit in the sand. After that, our plans are… nothing. So good to be off, I’m really just realizing how much I needed the time.

I started to write last night, but gave up for lack of material. I was all ready to call it another lost day, and send the blog down what would’ve ended up being one of the longest dry-spells in its history. Then, I was checking my e-mail on the BlackBerry while I was taking my morning coffee dump (yes, I do this) when a certain configuration of bits and bytes flew through the ether, recombined into a JPEG on my phone, and inspired me. What got me going, it turns out, was a photo that my dad sent. His simple explanation was that it was an “old photo” of me that he thought I “might like.” Check it out (click for a slightly larger version in a new window):

Now, to me, this picture was a treasure-trove of memories. Let’s set the stage first though, shall we? I can roughly date the picture by examining the wall decorations: We’re somewhere in the pre-Beatles phase, and still have quite a bit of post-5th-grade holdover material (the Garbage Pail Kids posters, the Alf poster). I have my TV and NES in the entertainment system, but not my VCR. The lack of Beatles material and VCR mean this picture was likely taken right around my late-7th-grade Beatles enlightenment (I would’ve been thirteen years old). I couldn’t help staring at this thing all “what’s wrong with this picture” style. Some things that I liked:

  • Looking closely at my left wrist, I can see the clay-bead-on-leather-strap bracelet I wore religiously for a few years in middle school. I noticed that an 8th grader had dropped it in the locker room one morning while we were dressing out, and stole it up as my own. I was even brave enough to wear it to school, back into that very locker room with that very 8th grader. I could’ve sworn I saw him looking at it, knowing, but I don’t think he ever challenged me on my ownership of it. The beads were all swirly and spotty and psychedelic, again placing this photo into that 7th-grade time of burgeoning wanna-be-hippie.
  • You can just see the edge of my dad’s old turntable in the left of the shot (by then I had adopted it as my own), and both of my two speakers: one on the right of the TV table with that yellow lamp on it (we used this one as a makeshift stepstool to get a leg-up while sneaking out of the house through that window above it), and the other to the right of the TV stand with some stuffed animals perched atop. Not too much later, I’d purchase another set of speakers from our neighbors garage sale and setup a true quadraphonic system in my room. The first record I listened to in quad was Traffic’s eponymous 1968 sophomore effort – I sat cross-legged in the middle of the room and just grooved.
  • I liked Alf?!
  • In the right-front foreground you can see the corner of my beloved bunk beds. I had these through somewhere late in the 9th grade, when they were replaced with a waterbed. Just barely in the shot near the top right you can see the blurred shape of the ceiling fan which hung directly above the ladder providing access to the top bunk. You had to climb up all hunched over to avoid hitting your head on the thing as it was whirring. I remember being extra super-aware of this on one particularly harrowing evening.
  • I used to keep all my NES cartridges in the little cabinet you can kinda see at the bottom of the TV stand. That’s where my lightgun and ROB the robot lived, too.
  • The stuffed animals on the speaker are, from left to right, “Star” and “Teddy.” Teddy was my brother’s, he was a bear; Star was mine, he was a dog. They used to have all kinds of adventures together, and were the best of buds – as stuffed animals go.

OK I’m tired. Have a good day at work, punks.


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