Monday, March 30, 2009

Picture Imperfect

We've already established that I'm a complete, foolish nostalgic person... As anyone who has talked to me in the last few weeks has discovered, I've had a blast going through all my college--and high school--pictures, sorting through the ones that I can scan, tossing some that I just don't need anymore (I'm not sure anyone needs a picture of me and fill-in-chick-I-went-out-with being cute) and pausing to stare at pictures of friends that I haven't seen in a very, very long time. Friends I miss.

And something happened that I didn't expect... I think I got caught up in all of it. The memories flood back, kinda reminding me of the Trisha Yearwood song I was singing earlier, while making perfect mochas and delicious grande lattes... "it was like a lighted match had been tossed into my soul, it was like a dam had broken in my heart... after taking every detour, getting lost and losing track, so that even if I wanted I could not find my way back, after driving out the memories of the way things had been, after I had forgotten all about it, this pic remembers when..."

Okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic. But I do love that song, and consider it to the be the saddest song ever written, though thats a complete other post... anyway, some of the memories that rushed back...

Like, there's a picture of me and Mike Brunson blowing on Allyson Guy's head, to cool her down after rock climbing. I was about as tired as I have ever been after that day, but it was awesome because I got about 40 feet up before I reached a point where I just had to leap for it. And I missed, but luckily there was a rope and beaner tying me to a safety point. Later, I screwed up my friendship with Mike, but through God's grace and Mike's forgiveness, things were settled. I dunno that Mike and I will be BFF, but at least the air is clear.

There's a picture of me and Adrianne Benton and Labett White on the beach, a trip I vaguely even remember. We were freshman, the three of us, and we were pretty tight for a little while. We even called ourselves "Threenkies", a silly nickname that only a silly 18 year old guy and two 18 year old girls could come up with. We giggled alot. Adrianne emailed me a few weeks ago with the line "I tried this once and you didn't respond, so I'll try it again"... I emailed her last night. Hope to hear from her.

There's another shot from my senior year (yes, yes, my first one) during the Farmhouse Big Barn Party. I had invited my friend Chrissy to go with me, she said sure, and in the picture, its us with Kevin Spivey and Whitley Porter, four good friends who had a great time. Actually, Spivey was in love with Chrissy's soft felt jacket, but that's another story altogether. That night was a hoot, as it was kinda cold, and for whatever reason, on the trail, my horse decided to go walking in the lake. Mind you, this was like, 9pm at night. Had my first conversation with Spivey in almost 10 years a few days ago. It was awesome.

Oh, what about this one, from my senior year in high school, when my best buddy Chris McCall and I were with my cousin April and our friend Michael down in Orlando, standing under the Hard Rock Cafe car that juts out of the front of the building... good times, all. That's Chris, wearing a shirt that says "Pump This", which at this late (early?) hour I find extreeeeeemely funny. Yeah, and I'm totally wearing the same shirt that I later wore on the beach with Labett and Adrianne. Chris also emailed me a few days back, and I need to email him. On my to-do list on Wednesday.

But the harder pictures are the ones that indicate those friendships that either no longer exist or can't. I'll be very vague here, because I'm not going to try to embarass anyone or call anyone out. One is my fault. I did something stupid ten years ago, and am still paying for it. Maybe I'm not, maybe all is forgiven, but at the same time, it pains me nonetheless. I'm a closure person, for better or for worse, and when there is none, then to me... well, there is none. That whole closure thing has bitten me a few times--I wish I didn't care, but I do.

Another is not my fault, but that doesn't matter, because through no fault of my own, we're done being friends. And that hurts to no end.

I cherish my friendships. See, I kinda have these circles that go around me... there's an outer circle, people I know, people I consider friends, but have to follow it up with an "I guess" because really, they are more like acquaintances. There's another circle, maybe a little tighter, where most of my friends fall. These are the friends that I enjoy seeing when I can, but perhaps haven't taken the time to follow up, or email enough, or haven't been on the receiving end of such an attempt. Then you get a little closer, where most of my "closer friends" lie. Maybe I consider them closer than they actually think they are, friends that I would do anything for, would probably do anything for me, and such.

You've probably heard this entire analogy before, the "outer" and "inner" circles, but its the same with me, really, cause I'm not that much different. Then maybe there are one or two people that I'm pretty tight with, that know lots and lots about me. And the funny part is, no one stays the same really. People drift in and out over the years, some people I would see every day or two for years suddenly aren't there anymore, and we lose touch. People like Sybil Johnson, McQ, The Valdmanis or Big Eddy, people that I would love to see much more of, but just aren't able to.

Others who were never a factor in my life at all, people I barely said a word-one to most times suddenly become someone I talk to on a regular basis... Erin the Marine Wife and Mindy D'A (though she never spoke to me, being the popular ADPi that she was) come to mind (mostly via online chatting), as does The Official Clouds in My Coffee Ombudsman Brad Latta.

I've mentioned before the dangers of Facebook... try it when people you are excited about talking to again decide that it would be best not too. Then again, its a joy when people you didn't think wanted to be closer decide they do. Works both ways. Or as Gloria Estefan might say, "It cuts both ways..."

Though, honestly, if I'm going with Gloria Estefan, and I'm in "I want to hear some make-me-feel-like-crap" kind of music, you can't go wrong with "Here We Are". Wow. Her voice is incredible, her emotion is strong and I can't think of many other songs that make use of the word "sublime". Late 80s/early 90s Gloria = awesomeness. Where was I?

I'm not sure why I have this need to "catch up" with people anyway... its how I've always been. Maybe I'm a friend for life or something, but when I have the opportunity, I like to know whats going on with people I know and care about. Maybe its a few weeks between "catch ups", like with my buddy KT, or maybe its a few months, like with my best mate Wookiee, or maybe even a few years... had a great conversation with Shelby last week. She pretty much called me out and told me I was kind of a terrible friend, that we had been such good friends back in the day and we never talked. She was right. So, I did my best to make it right... and I hope Shelby will be around for a long time.

The Lovely Steph Leann must be bored to tears by now, as I've been regaling her with tales of college profundaty, names like McConnell and Claire and Shelby and Melanie and Ally Song and Hinson and BCM and Yo Adrianne and Bobby Black and Spivey and AmyAlex just tossed out there, each with a hilarious or emotional moment attached to it.

Of course, at some point, I have to ask, where does it end? I mean, I've got almost 800 people on my Facebook Friend list, and I'll be real honest with you... I don't care about most of them. Somehow, if you are from a small town, and that same small town happens to be the same small town I'm from, then somehow we know each other, which means somehow we must be friends. Right? I've actually developed a system now... when I pull up Facebook chat, and it takes me longer than 10 seconds to figure out who you are and why you are on my chat list, then you're gone. Sorry. Its best for both of us, really.

I've considered doing a Top 250... pick out the 250 people that I legitimately talk to (and if you are worried about whether you'd be in that list, then that means you are reading this, and if you are reading this, that means you have enough care to be my friend, which means you'll probably be safe...) and that's my friend list. Oh, its okay to add someone, but someone has to get punted.

Found out that Chris Barrow is living here. Barrow is a buddy of mine from waaaay back in the day, when Wookiee and I lived in the Thomas Circle Apartment complex in Troy. He's the cousin of Courtney Then Shaw Now McGough, and when I wondered where Barrow was in a picture I posted, Court's hubby Michael emailed me his email address. So Barrow and I are having lunch on Wednesday to... well, catch-up.

In a random sidenote, my book idea is beginning to take shape. I've been jotting down notes and ideas for three days now--names, descriptions, places, events, etc--and I'm going tomorrow to purchase a "audio diction recorder". I want to be able to get my ideas quickly before I lose them, and by a recorder, I can just turn it on, speak my thoughts, and listen to it later. Did you know these things cost, like, $30 or $40? I was thinking $20. I went to Best Buy, and of course, the $28.99 model is sold out. I almost picked up a $39.99 Sony, but put it back, thinking I'd go to Wal-Mart later. I went after working at The Most Caffeinated Place on Hwy 280, and they had similar prices... that is, after I found it. The old Indian guy who was there when I purchased the Wii Fit was there tonight.
"Can I heep you vit sum-ting?" he barked. I told him was I was looking for, he said, "Come, come". I felt like I was being led to see The Golden Child or something... he leads me to the aisle where they were, points at three different pegs and says, "All vee have is thees, thees, thees, that ees all." Then he walked away. I left without purchasing anything. I have to get something though--I had an entire dialogue conversation with myself today in the car, about four pages worth of material that I hope I can remember again.

Where am I going with any of this? Heck if I know. Its late. Its after midnight, and my best friend in the whole entire world is laying in a bed sleeping, not more than fifty feet from where I sit. Funny thing, that Stephanie Campbell. We became really close right off the bat, and she was my best friend, one I could tell anything to, and someone I wanted to tell stuff too first... and I was that for her. She wasn't the first girl that was that way with me, there have been others that have been that close... The Lovely Steph Leann was just the first one that stayed there long enough for me to not just like her, but like her like her. Love her even.

Yours Truly and The Lovely Steph Leann, lookin' all good and stuff.... kinda reminds me of when Mater is talking to Lightnin' McQueen, saying, "I knew I made the right decision... for my best friend..."

Saturday night we were driving home after the glorious wedding of Joey Thornell and Alissa Kelley, had to make a few stops here and there to do some errands, and we decided we were hungry. It was getting late, and neither of us wanted a ton of food, so we figured Taco Bell would be enough for right then... five bucks gets us a drink to share and a couple of Tacos to split.

When we lived in that area, we used to go to the one over on Highway 31, close to The Galleria Mall, but we knew what to expect. It was terrible, and you could figure on waiting about 20 minutes for anything, which means you had to really, really have a hankerin' for a nacho bell grande. The one on Highway 280, where we live now, has never been bad, until this night. When we get inside, there are people standing everywhere. The Lovely Steph Leann asks me if we should go anywhere else, but I just say, "Nah, we'll just wait it out". The last time something like this happened, over at the other Taco Bell, I stood in line for only 10 minutes, as the people in front of me left one by one.

Not this night. We actually ordered pretty quickly, though that was the mistake... once they have your money, your locked in, you can't leave. Its obvious that they were short handed, so we just went and sat down... for about 20 minutes. Some lady started talking loudly that she wanted her money back, another guy came in and told another guy that he had ordered, left, gone across Hwy 280 to fill up his car with gas and come back, and his order still wasn't ready. The Lovely Steph Leann and I just sat there, kinda giggling.

The register guy, Maurice, was complaining loudly about lack of help-- "We ain't got nobody shown up here!" and apparently said something to his manager, who said something back. Maurice left the register and came out into the cafe to stock the condiment bar (and not back to the kitchen to help do something--dress a taco, dump some cinnamon sticks into the grease, top off a quesadilla--SOMETHING) and I heard him say, "I's a man too! I is! I's a man too!"

I looked over at The Lovely Steph Leann and whispered, "This is why I blog." She laughed. I looked at my best friend in the whole world, knowing with all of my heart that she'd never drop me from Facebook, she'd never block her page from my sight and she'll always be in that very, very inner inner inner circle of people that I care about the most, and that care about me. And that's a picture worth a thousand words.

(that last line really made no sense whatsoever, but again, its late, and I thought that would be just romantic enough to end this blog post with... Idol tomorrow! Maybe another real, non-Idol post on Wednesday!)


  1. This was great! Thank you for the trip down memory lane (even though I wasn't there for most of it).

  2. It's weird...I am also working on a book, albeit one quite different than yours. Maybe we can go on a book tour together when they come out.

  3. Only if the title of your book doesn't include the words "W" and "SUCKED!" in the title. Then I'd be all about it.

    Are you self publishing as well, or does your lawyeristic influences have a little pull somewhere around a publishing house?

  4. It's (surprisingly) not related to politics at all, and I'm using

  5. You should so write a book. Seriously. I'd check it out from the library.


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