Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Time Is Here Again

Every year this thing "Christmas" happens. Most every year I end up going to New Mexico to visit family. This year has been no exception. However, I live in Portland now so I had to fly to Albuquerque first.

When I was getting ready to fly, I decided to dress up like if I was on Mad Men or something. I combed my hair real nice with a part, put on slacks and a shirt and busted out my skinny tie. Perfect. In the airport I noticed nobody else dresses up to fly. At all. At least not during Christmas. I stuck out like a sore thumb. (Especially to the 40+ year old stewardess who winked at me as I was getting off the plane...)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Music

These are my thoughts on Christmas music while listening to so much of it this season:
  1. Why are reindeer such jerks? And what are "reindeer games?" Why is Rudolph only accepted after proving his worth, not on his personality, but on his natural physical ability; and what message does that send to children? (If you are physically exceptional, you too will be accepted. Or perhaps, people will only like you if you are of use to them)
  2. Also, if "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" were rewritten today, it would center around cyber-bullying. The other reindeer would talk poorly about him on Facebook and Twitter. They would make rude comments on his status updates.
  3. Why is Nixon one of the reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donder and Nixon. How strange. I suppose after resigning from the presidency, Nixon got a job pulling Santa's sleigh. And that is probably why the reindeer are so mean. They more than likely bugged Rudolph to get more dirt on him.
  4. "Let It Snow" was obviously written by someone who has not had to work after Christmas Day. I am referring especially to the line 
    And since we've no place to go/Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
    When you need the money, as you more than likely do if you are working in retail the day after Christmas, you do not want it to snow. That would make if difficult to get to work. 
  5. I have always wondered what a "one horse slopin' sleigh" could be. Maybe it is an east coast thing of which I am unaware.
  6. Why does the baby Jesus hate the masculine form of "the" in Spanish so much? No "el," ever. Strange.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Last 24-Hours


The day I had been dreading for months was upon us, Jackie was leaving for Korea in 24 hours. We had to do something special of course, but what? While we had been to the Oregon coast twice, we had yet to see the magical Hug Point completely. We were determined to do just that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Camping and Downtown Portland


We didn't have too much time left together, Jackie was leaving to teach in Korea soon, so we headed out to camp at Nehalam Bay State Park. Before we started dating, before I moved to Portland, she had camped there alone. I remember that time well. I spoke to her on the phone at night whilst laying in my car after work, staring at the empty skies and wishing I were with her. Now we were headed to the same place. I was excited.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rip City Basketball Classic


On November 6, 2011, with the NBA lockout still raging on with no end in sight, LaMarcus Aldridge brought together some friends to play a basketball game for charity at the Chiles Center. The so-called Rip City Classic featured a couple future NBA Hall of Famers, NBA All-Stars, a slam dunk contest  winner, home team favorites and a host of others. When I moved to Portland I was excited to live in an NBA city. I would finally get to see my beloved Boston Celtics! Then the stupid lockout happened and that destroyed my hopes for seeing them this year. Hearing about this game from Aldridge's Twitter, I told Jackie we had to go. She was of course down to go with me. Next thing I know I'm buying tickets online and we're getting ready to head out.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wandering Down Hawthorne, Aerial Tram, Dinner, Donuts and Art




One day, November 3, 2011 to be exact, Jackie had an appointment on Hawthorne and I accompanied her. While she was in the office, I decided to walk and take pictures. I had an hour; that would be more than enough time. If you have never been to Portland, this is a pretty decent description of this area:
Undoubtedly, Hawthorne is one of the most unique, and most popular areas in Southeast Portland. The area is known for its wonderful restored Old Portland homes, liberal residents, and fun and funky feel. The street is lined with unique restaurants and shops, and has a definite Portland-local flair. There are a lot of words you could use to describe the locals who live in the Hawthorne District; activist, environmentalist, educated, opinionated, hippie, hipster, Gen X-er, entrepreneur...and more.
The first time I had been to the area was when I visited during the summer. I was downtown and decided to walk back to my hotel. Unfortunately, I got massively lost and ended up in a not-so-nice area after dark. But the walk through Hawthorne was great!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oregon Coast Adventure


The night after our date to the Portland Art Museum and Apizza Scholls, Jackie and I had planned on heading to the Oregon coast to explore around a bit. Our plan included driving along the coast and stopping at multiple cities, starting at Lincoln City and heading north. Amazingly, in my 26 years, I had never seen any ocean before (other than from an airplane, but I don' think that counts).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Portland Art Museum


A week after Seattle, Jackie and I went on a date to the Portland Art Museum. Jackie had been in town longer than I, but she had never been to the museum, while I had when I came to town to check out the place. I greatly enjoyed it the first time and I knew it would be much more fun with her there. She knows all about art (something I do not really know about). In March of 2011, we went to the El Paso Museum of Art and she knew everything. Even more than the tour guide!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seattle Adventure: Part Two

[The previous day, Jackie and I had seen Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Experience Music Project and seen Theophilus London at the Neptune Theatre. It was tons of fun. Now, I bring you the last day we spent in Seattle.]

We had been lucky to have a sunny day out first day in town. That night it had started raining and had not stopped much the next morning. After meandering around a bit, we had stayed up rather late the night previous after all, Jackie and I headed out to see the Fremont Troll around noon. Now, growing up in the desert, the dry, dry desert, I learned to appreciate clouds and rain. It is beautiful to me. So a rainy day in no way dampens my spirits. It, in fact, puts me in a great mood.

Seattle Adventure: Part One

Before I moved to Portland, Jackie and I decided to go see Theophilus London in Seattle. She introduced me to his music months previous, but I had just developed a love of his first LP, Timez Are Weird These Days. One night we were chatting online, like we did nearly every single day since we met, and quickly made the decision to buy the tickets and get a hotel room. A Seattle adventure! We had been on adventures before, taking photos of graffiti art in downtown El Paso, searching around Las Cruces, basketball at random courts around El Paso, etc, but this would be on a wholly different plain. And we both felt excitement build as the day closer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Moving to Portland: Part Three

([Dramatic Voiceover] Last time on No Hippie Johnny, J.D. drove through scenic Colorado and was attacked by a mountain power plant in Utah. Our hero finally made it Idaho, where he is now sleeping in a Walmart parking lot. Part One of the trip can be found HERE. Part Two is HERE.)

I woke up in Jerome, Idaho with Catface playing the role of "guard cat." Not really. He was just awake and sitting there. As you can see in the accompaining photo, I slept across the front seats. Not exactly so comfortable. My head leaned against the driver's side window all night. Apparently, Idaho is very cold. I knew this of course, and I could deal with it, but I probably should have brought an extra pillow to protect my head from the cold window.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Moving to Portland: Part Two

[Last time on this here blog, I spent my last day in El Paso and drove across New Mexico to my grandma's house in Farmington, New Mexico. You can catch up on that post HERE.]

In the morning I awoke and got ready to go to church with my grandma. We went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church a few blocks away. Now, my grandma is quite the...ahem..."inventive" driver. Essentially, she makes up her own set of traffic regulations. She parked her Cadillac in an area blocked off with the words "No Parking" in easily visible locations. That is her space.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Moving to Portland: Part One

Now it is time to tell everyone the story of moving to Portland. In September I decided I could not take my situation any longer and needed to leave. A crazy work situation, having to move back in with my parents, being alone and being poor all factored into my decision. By October 8, I was on the road to my new home in Oregon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adventures in Driving Home

I park on the street now because there are too many cars to park in the driveway. That's not a big deal really. But last night something happened which disturbed me.

Work for me ends at 8 p.m. generally. After picking up some things at Walmart, I got home at about 8:45. A lady, most likely in her mid-to-late 40s, was out for a walk on the sidewalk by where I park my car. She wore sweat pants, a tank top and cross training shoes. I put on my turn signal and pull up to "my spot" and she is about 15 feet away. She turns and sees me in the car. Suddenly she looks startled and begins to run.

It made me feel like crap. I do not think I look like a criminal or a threat. So then it would appear that she was running simply based on the fact that I am a man near her at night. Is that the world we live in, where a woman has to fear for herself when near a man she does not know in a neighborhood? (It is not as if the neighborhood is even in the ghetto or something. It is a normal, middle class place) I suppose it is. (Everything I read and see confirms it is) And I hate that.

I wanted to yell, "I'm just going home! You don't have to be afraid, damn it!" Instead I walked to my house. But I was mad. Mad at the situation. Mad that she was walking alone at night instead of during the evening or during the morning when people are out. Mad that men have done such horrible things that the thought that I would attack her even existed.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wandering the Desert


I am exhausted... On Sunday I had to help at the fashion show for the Boys & Girls Club. It was fine; I got to wear a tie. The bad part is I wanted to go see a movie at the Plaza Classic Film Festival, but the fashion show ran long so I missed it. Then I went to an art show/live music show at the Percolator and ran into one of my old coworkers from KRUX (I also ran into some other guy I do not know, the smelliest human being ever...). So that was fine, but I was very tired from running around all day. Made a new friend to finish the day off (Got her number and everything. That counts for something I guess).


Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Look Back at My Plaza Classic Film Festival Experience

I already wrote about what I hoped to see at Plaza Classic Film Festival. These are my impressions now that it is over.

August 4
I went to see Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979, IMDB rating: 6.7/10) at the top of the Mills Parking Garage. The view was amazing! You could see the city all lit up, which always looks nice. While sitting looking at the screen all I had to do was turn my head slightly to the left to see the huge star on the side of the mountain. It was windy and the screen, decently big as it was, moved a lot. The screen was not a normal screen though. It inflated and was a cube. So it moved with the wind, but didn't just fall over. A side effect of that was the image on the screen would warp as the wind blew and affected the screen cube. This turned out to actually be kind of cool. Very psychedelic. The whole time it I watched the thunder off in the distance. Luckily it never threatened where we sat. The sound was a bit too quiet for my taste. Seeing as this is a movie that features so many great rock 'n' roll songs, it should have been very loud. I went with the twins from work. That was nice because I easily had the two best looking girls there at my side. I must have looked so cool!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Third Grade Letters to Me, 1994

We had to write letters to each other in the third grade at O'Shea Keleher Elementary. Then our teacher, Mrs. Bailey put them into a book. I just found it. Here they are (without editing):

Monday, August 1, 2011

Plaza Classic Film Festival

This is still what it looks like now. But, you know, in color.
Here are the films I will go see during El Paso's Plaza Classic Film Festival. I am really excited about the lineup this year!
Last year I saw The Godfather at the Festival and it was amazing. The movie had such a greater effect on the big screen and in front of a crowd of people. I loved it. I got dressed up and everything. I will do that again this year. I can not wait!
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

On the Precipice of the Move

Casa Bandera apartments in Las Cruces, New Mexico

As I realize how ridiculous I look laying on the floor scrubbing the carcasses of bed bugs off the baseboards of someone else's room, I had one of those moments were you wonder how the hell you got to this point. In the past two weeks I have been as happy as I have ever been and as low too. And now everything is up in the air. It is the last few hours I have in Las Cruces.

The past week in particular was a whirlwind of emotions. I slept very little. Perhaps that attributed to the feeling. In the past three days I have slept four hours. And I will not sleep tonight...

Soon I will be in El Paso and in a worse situation than I am in now. I do not want to live with my parents, even if it is only for a month. It is a hassle to live with five other people. I like my parents, but it is too much to worry about. I have to be quiet at night, much earlier than now, because they get up so early for work. And the house is incredibly hot. They do not have refrigerated air like I have had in my apartment for the last two years. Plus there is the fact that I am 26 years old. That is too old to live with your parents in my opinion.

Hopefully I will be in Portland in a month. What will happen there I do not know. I suspect it will be the same. People are the same everywhere. So my social life will probably stay as boring as now. But, hey, it is a beautiful city, especially compared to the dirt and rocks of El Paso. I can not wait to live in a place with trees. That alone is worth moving. And I get to be on my own again. I have to admit I am a bit worried about being so far away from home. When I am in Las Cruces I always have family an hour away to help with things like moving into and apartment and whatnot. Portland will be different. I do not know what I will have there.

Still, I can not wait to see what the future holds. (I am hoping it will be a lot less cleaning dead bed bugs off baseboards)
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Leaving



It is kind of funny, I've lived in Las Cruces on and off for eight years, yet, now that I am leaving, nobody seems to care. That isn't exactly true. Probably two people have made an effort to hang out with me in the last few months. I appreciate it. But it feels like all the different places I have worked, the supposed friends I've made, it should be a bigger deal. And when I leave El Paso in a month I am willing to bet only one person will care there too.

Perhaps I haven't been a good enough friend. I don't know. I try to be a good person and listen to people's problems and be there if anyone needs me. It seems like people enjoy having me around. Maybe I should have been more aggressively social. Maybe social networking sites allowed people to keep in touch with me and have no need to ever see me despite us living minutes away from one another. Whatever the reason, I know when I leave I will not miss this place. There are things I like about Las Cruces (the NMSU campus, Mesilla, the mountains) and El Paso (downtown, my parents' house, the Plaza Classic Film Festival), but I will not miss those things.

The last nearly decade of my life seems like I wasted it and that is why nobody cares here. No matter though. I am moving to Portland. And I feel I will be happy enough to make up for what I did not do here. I am not sad at all about this. Disappointed in the way it is winding down, but if I am not good enough for the people here it is their loss. Ha! Not really.

It is just best for me to get out of here quickly before I bore myself to death.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

The 1977 NBA All-Star Game

I just finished watching the 1977 NBA All-Star Game played in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No, this is not a blog post written in February of 1977 and left in an internet time capsule, only to be uncovered in 2011; NBA-TV showed the game tonight as one of their Greatest Games series. My favorite thing about having NBA-TV (and NFL Network too) is being able to see classic games. I have been reading about these guys for my whole life, but I have not seen too many of their games.

What impressed me the most, and does every single time I see him play, was Julius Erving. Nobody could slow him down. Those gigantic hands control the ball effortlessly; he can go up for a dunk right off the bounce without warning because he can grip it so easily, no gathering required. He has this long stride that allows him to cover long stretches of court and jump from further out than it seemed everyone was used to. And even though this was an All-Star game, not traditionally known to be super competitive events in any professional sport, he played with a lot of hustle.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Things I Have No Patience For

I know how you feel.
I am a pretty patient person when it comes to some things (I can wait and wait for something with no problem), but there are some things that just drive me crazy. And since I am already a bit crazy naturally, I become super crazy.

1) Exceptionally Poor Grammar:

I understand the occasional typo. Still, people these days have no respect for my eyes when they type without a single capital letter or any hint of proper punctuation. And these are people with, at the very least, high school degrees! Some with COLLEGE DEGREES! That is unacceptable.

 So maybe this says more about my personal life than I would like it to, um...Last night I looked at the Craigslist personal ads for the first time and the writing was absolutely horrible. That was all I could think about (a close second: how gross most of them were). I guess there is that...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Surreal War Dream

This dream was so strange I had to make sure I remembered it. I have been pretty exhausted the past week or so; I think that may have contributed to how weird it turned out.

I started off in a warzone in a city in Libya, except it the buildings looked more like multiple story adobe buildings in the Southwest United States, particularly the way Santa Fe makes all their buildings look. Why I knew it was supposed to be Libya when it looked nothing like it I do not know. I am hiding around the corner of a building dressed like some sort of soldier. Against the wall across from me I see Saddam Hussein... I know he is dead and isn't even from Libya, even in my dream I was questioning what was going on, but there he was. Whatever. He pretty much dared the man in the second story of this adobe building to shoot him. Despite the red sniper target camped directly on his forehead, he managed to not be shot multiple times while standing there taunting everyone. Finally the shooter hit him. I left.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gold Sheets

The exterior of a typical Kohl's department st...Image via Wikipedia
I have had the same sheets since I first went to college in the fall of 2003. It has been almost nine years! So I decided I needed some new ones. Kohl's was having a sale. Perfect opportunity.

After searching for what seemed hours, I picked some brown sheets. I was looking for something a bit lighter, but it was no big deal. However, when I went to put them on my bed I noticed how shiny they are. Oh geez! I bought gold sheets! Why did it have to be so dark in that damned place?

Now I have gold sheets. Great. Who do I think I am? Freaking Nino Brown? A pimp? A vampire? I am not a drug dealer because I have seen the documentary, Scarface. And I am no longer a pimp because, I found out, it ain't easy.

That leaves vampire. Crap. So I bought tons of those tall, skinny candle holder things. What are they called? Oh right, candlestick holders. And I bought some goblets from which to drink. Blood (that is not my own) tastes pretty gross though. To solve that problem I purchased many gallons of Hawaiian Punch. That will have to do. I also bought a leather jacket.

Long story short: I have gold sheets and am a vampire.

The End.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Death Cat

This is something that frightens me everyday: Sometimes my cat meows at me and I meow back at him. I, however, have no idea what I am saying in Cat. Maybe I am saying, "Yo' momma, you punk ass cat!" And I keep saying this to him so he becomes angrier as each day passes.

Now, he may act all cute and whatever, but I am sure he is plotting his revenge for months of verbal abuse at the unwitting hands of myself. All day long he sits there on the couch, on the shelves, on the chairs, on the tables, floor, bed, radio, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. And when that moment comes, when I am at my most vulnerable, he will destroy me.

I do not want that to happen! I really do not! But I fear it is too late. So if I suddenly am poisoned or just plain disappear, I want you to know it was the cat all along. Catface Meowmers killed me.