Thursday, August 20, 2009

NerdMory Word(s): My List

My List
- Noun

1. The list of people(normally five) that you can have sex with and not be considered a cheater. The list is usually comprised of celebrities or famous people.

[ Origin: I think there was an episode of Friends about it, but the idea has been around forever. ]

- example
1. Shirley Manson
2. Felicia Day
3. Tina Fey
4. Rue Mcclanahan
5. Steve Nash

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 3: Geremy Saves the Blog

The second half of 2008 was a rough one for the blog. After two and a half years of writing, I had completely run out of ideas. I was repeating jokes and stories, and nothing felt new. I decided to branch out and try some different things. I wrote fiction stories based in reality, or posts with a comedic slant. Some of it worked, and some of it didn't, but after really trying for a few months, I was kind of tired of it. As the year drew to a close, it again felt like the blog was dying.

Day 823 (January 10th, 2009) -

The Cardinals were playing the Panthers in the second round of the playoffs, and the gang had decided to meet up at our typical watering hole to watch the game. The Cards doing well happens once, maybe twice in a lifetime, so we were all fairly excited. My sister even decided that Fitz was on her list. Her boyfriend Andrew decided that Fitz might be on his list too.

"A friend of mine that I haven't seen in a while is coming up to meet us", Todd Geremy said nonchalantley during the first quarter.

Either I hadn't been spending enough time with Geremy, or I was too enthralled with the game, but I didn't immediately question who this friend was. As the second quarter started, a girl who was far too pretty to be hanging out in our dive bar walked in the door. Geremy waived his hand to get her attention.

"There's Anna-Jeanne."

Of course.

I'm not sure why it surprised me, cute girls flock to Geremy like fat kids to a half off donut sale.

Anna-Jeanne took a seat between me and Geremy and did her best to keep up with the game. While Miranda was practicing writing "Mrs. Larry Fitzgerald" and everyone else was completely focused on the Cards, I was now sitting next to a cute girl, and slightly nervous. What made it worse was that she kept talking to me.

I attempted to calm my nerves and actually carry on a conversation. I explained a few things about the game and made a few jokes which she actually laughed at. This would have been a very normal night for me, had it included an introduction from Rod Serling, but it hadn't. And it was about to get weirder.

After one joke she laughed loudly before stopping and saying, "Wait, what was your name again?"
"Uh... Jesse?"
"OH. MY. GOD! You're the one with the blog, right? I remember reading a story about you hiking. You're hilarious!"

I honestly thought for a moment that maybe Geremy had hired her to come in and lift my spirits.

January 10th also happens to be my good friend Rose's birthday. There was a party at Heidi's house which I was already late too. I stalled for a little while longer, but I figured it was best that I leave before I had a chance to say anything stupid.

Rose's birthday party is a grand tradition. Even though Rose was in Iowa, Heidi wasn't about to let something as minor as 1700 miles spoil her day. The plan was a webcam based party with all of the Phoenix residents meeting at Heidi's.

Day 824 (January 11th, 2009) -

Miranda called me early in the morning to discuss the game, how awesome Fitzgerald is, and the previous night.

"I think that girl was in love with you. You shouldn't have left so early."
"Yeah. I thought maybe that was just all in my head, but she actually seemed to find me amusing."
"You blew it."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

Supplementary Writings

This is the story I told at my Grandmother, Dean Martin's funeral:
My Grandmother was a pretty great woman, but anyone who's here probably already knew that. She always wanted the best for her grandkids, and did a lot to look out for us. I'm sure if she was here right now she'd be straightening my tie, and licking her thumb and trying to get the little spiky part in the front of my hair to "lay down".

Grandma obviously influenced the three of us in a lot of ways, both directly and indirectly, and I'd like to share one story of how she changed who I am today. She made me promise that I'd never tell anyone this, but I think it's probably alright if I share this with everyone now.

When I was about 12 years old I decided that what I really needed was a computer. I also decided that I needed one by the time I went to High School. I saved almost every penny I could for 3 years, but as the summer before High School came, I still didn't have the money saved that the computer cost.

Most of my immediate family here knows that I did get that computer. What they don't know is where the rest of that money came from. One day when everyone else was out, my Grandmother pulled me aside, put her hand in mine and said:
"I don't really understand this computer thing you keep going on about, but it seems really important to you"

She pulled her hand away but left in my hand a substantial sum of money.
She then leaned in close and gave me that serious Dean Martin look to let me know she wasn't fooling around and she said, "Don't tell Leon."

In High School I took every computer class I could, and at night I spent my time learning all I could. I eventually went off to college to study Computer Science, and today I make my living as a computer programmer.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 2: Mary Saves the Blog

Pop Quiz. Jesse has been absent from blogging because:
A) He was commissioned by the state of AZ to paint a mural in the courtroom of downtown Phoenix.
B) He's been sick.
C) His mathlete team advanced to the finals and he had to go on tour.
D) He's been busy with various peeps.
E) He's lazy.

No matter the answer, I apologize for the delay. This story is long enough as it is(Somewhere between 23 and 27 parts), and the last thing we need is a long break in the middle. So, back to blogging.

This part of the story hits a bit of a downturn, but I think it's important to fill in some of the gaps for anyone who's been reading for a while. It's important to note why the blog needed saving. Despite the language used here, no need to worry about me. Things only get written about once I'm okay with them.

My condo was one of the few in the building that wasn't remodeled, and as such I had moved in much earlier than anyone else. I'd spent months a bit worried that I'd end up with some pain-in-the-ass person next door and we'd fight forever. This wasn't like renting an apartment and having a bad neighbor. I was here indefinitely. For better or worse, this place was mine.

In early October, I could hear my new neighbors moving in next door. I really wanted, all day, to peek out and introduce myself, but I wasn't sure how awkward it would be, so I spent most of the day cleaning and running errands. On my final trip home for the day I would finally run in to the two girls who would end up changing my life forever.

The encounter was nothing more than a brief passing in the hall, but even then I knew it was something more. The next day I would sit down and write about it. At the time I even started a new series of blog entries called "Nerd Word(s)" in an attempt to help document and explain the stupid crap that comes out of my mouth.

Day 31 (November 10th, 2006) -

In one of the boldest moves of my life, I walked across the hall and knocked on the pink door of 11-L. I had hoped to invite Ruth and Rachel hiking with me, but I ended up with a lot more than a simple hiking trip.

An hour later I had been whisked away, and found myself on a balcony talking to Ruth, who I was immediately enamored with. While I joked that it was hard to tell them apart, it wasn't. Not really. Rachel was an instant best friend who could make me laugh or smile without effort, but when Ruth looked at me, my little nerd heart lept out of my chest.

The feeling never made sense to me. It couldn't be a physical attraction difference. They're identical, and Rachel was the twin that seemed best matched to me. She is the loud, crazy, obnoxiously funny one. I spent some time trying to figure out why I felt the way that I did about Ruth. I asked their friends what they thought the differences were between the two. I paid attention to the way they acted. I looked for anything that could be the cause of these feelings, but eventually I relented and just gave in to it.

It didn't matter if the connection made sense. It was there, and it was obvious to me.

When I was sad, she was there with a hug.
When she was cold, I was already taking off my hoodie and putting it on her.
When I needed reassurance in a social situation, her hand would slide towards mine under the table.
When she was hungry, I was already making dinner.

There was no need to verbalize a want, it was already done. The connection was so strong for me that for the first time in my life I was confident with a woman. I didn't need to rush anything with her. It all seemed so inevitable. That confidence would prove to be my undoing.

Day 45 (November 24th, 2006) -

My Grandmother passed away on her 88th birthday, which also happened to be the day after Thanksgiving. She had long been fighting dementia, so her passing was a bittersweet ending to an exceptional life. My mother spent the week making the arrangements for her mother's funeral, and I told her that I wanted to say something. Public speaking ranks as one of the last things that I ever care to do, but in this case, I had a story to share.

Ruth's boyfriend was in town for Thanksgiving, and they spent a good portion of the week arguing and fighting. It was a relationship they both seemed to know was over, but neither had yet verbalized it. His trip seemed, in my eyes, a goodbye (for both).

Day 54 (December 3rd, 2006) -

I found myself in Arkansas for the funeral. We visited with relatives, and stopped by Grandma's school. She had been the principal for her small town for many years, and when they built a new elementary school, it was named after her (Dean Martin Elementary).

I made up my mind on that trip. It was time to tell Ruth exactly how I felt. It was time to make something happen. I returned and entered their condo with my newfound confidence.

I was greeted with a hug and an excited statement, "I met some guy at Sheri's party on Saturday!"

Well, shit.

"That's... great"

Day 74 (December 23rd, 2006) -

The rest of December passed by without major event. Living next to Ruth and Rachel was like living next to the Spice Girls. What once would be described as a "major event" had become quite common place. There were models, singers, ballet dancers, blue men, and actors stopping by on a regular basis, and I quickly learned to take it all in stride. It was quite the departure from my friends who's diversity ended at a Canadian, and that one guy with two level seventy characters in WoW.

Two days before Christmas, Kendall had what she named "The Urban Family Christmas". It was a dinner with friends, and I was had been invited! It was at this party that Ruth would meet the man who would win her heart. He was a pre-med student,, and like most men, he was enthralled by the twins. More specifically, my twin.

At this point in time, Ruthie had numerous suitors, and her main objection to me seemed to be the fact that I was not a member of the Jewish faith. He had that on me, and for that reason I actually encouraged her to go out with him. I was still ridiculously overconfident in my relationship with Ruth, so a small delay couldn't matter.

Day 115 (February 2nd, 2007) -

For my thirtieth birthday, the twins threw me the biggest party of my life. I usually shy away from crowds, but I actually found myself having a good time. At the end of the night, after most people had left, I found myself alone in my room with my neighbor crush. Despite the fact that she lived 5 feet away, we never found ourselves alone. It was time to make my move. It was time to tell her everything.

And then there was a knock at my door. It was him, and he was looking for Ruth. I would soon realize that aggressiveness has it's advantages, and that I had no aggressiveness.

Day 308 (August 14th, 2007) -

Ruth's boyfriend was accepted to medical school in Ohio, and she informed me that she was considering moving with him. The last six months had been a whirlwind romance for her, and she told me that she would spend the next two months deciding.

Maybe it was selfish, maybe it was foolish, but I couldn't bear the thought of her leaving. For the first time, I decided to take action. For the next sixty days I wrote a reason every day for her to stay and posted them in a private blog for her and her alone.

Day 341 (September 16th 2007) -

The new blog ended on Day #34 when Ruthie told me she was moving.

Day ~417 (December 2007) -

As 2007 came to a close, I was broken. I wasn't sure where to go next, but the last thing I wanted to do was write positive, humorous things on a blog. My writing limped along for a while, but eventually I decided it was over. The story I had convinced myself that I was writing had gone the other way. Like a spoiled brat who hadn't gotten his way, I was tired of writing it.

Screw you guys, I'm going home

When I had convinced myself that I didn't care if I quit writing, I got an unexpected letter from Mandi. It was a brief message to let me know that she was still reading and enjoying my blog. It ended with an surprising remark, "My mom reads it too and really likes it!"

Somebody else's mom reads my blog?

It was the mother's guilt trip that I needed. I couldn't possibly quit now.