*Marlboro lights – You remind me of Mary. I miss her dearly. She was a great friend, a confidant, a shining light in my life during a time I needed some light. Taken too soon from us, you will be missed.
*Kids on bikes – I am reminded of when I was younger and still living in Jackson Mississippi. I had a small dirt bike, a hand me down from my brother, and all my friends had nice new “multiple speed” bikes that were just coming out. Needless to say I lost every race. I recall often times throwing my bike into a dirt ditch in frustration.
*Dirt ditches – Anytime I see a street or neighborhood without a sidewalk I am reminded of Jackson, MS. Many of the neighborhoods in Jackson don’t have sidewalks and I get a familiar tingle when I see the same thing in other cities. Ever felt like you were walking down a memory?
*Throwing Stars and nunchucks – I get a vivid memory when I think or see these words. It reminds me of Knoxville, TN. My Asian friends (and the token white dude) were in the parking lot of one of the dorms on campus hanging out. My Filipino friend decided to show us his nunchuck skills. I will say here that he was pretty good. To this day I do not recall any glances of fear or alarm from those passing by, but someone obviously called the cops. A cop car screeched into the parking lot and two white sheriffs stepped out with guns drawn. “Get your hands up and drop the weapon!” We looked at each other in confusion, but of course complied. After making sure we were not a threat, we were left with one last memorable statement. “You boys don’t have any throwing stars or knives do you?” Nice…
*Captain Morgan – Cigarette thrown, angry Korean, guy gets a bloody nose, more rum.
*Wendy’s after midnight – Knoxville, TN we pulled up and ordered almost everything on the menu. As we got to the window we decided it was an appropriate time to spark up. The lady at the window looks over her shoulder for her manager and then says “give me a hit and the food is free.” Win!
*Seattle Washington and stupid buses – So I arrived in Seattle in the summer of the 2000 for the motherland tour to Korea which I write about in my adoption story. I arrived a day earlier so the other people going on the trip were not yet there. One girl was and she invited me to go downtown to the mall to meet some of her friends she had not seen in some time since she was not from Seattle. I agreed and we saw a bit of Seattle and I quickly fell in love with the city. When it was time to go she decided to hang around and I told her I was fine getting a bus back to the airport hotel we were staying at. The problem was that at the age of 18 I had never actually ridden a city bus before. I figured it would be as simple as walking to the opposite side of the street and getting a bus going the opposite direction. How was I to know, I was from Memphis, TN where you don’t ride a bus unless you have to… ever. Needless to say I did not get to my destination and I was forced to ask a police officer, like the orphan that I was, how to get to the airport. Embarrassment
*Scottsdale, AZ – One of the few memories I have of my father and I spending time together. I don’t begrudge him, he is my role model when it comes to providing for a family. He was always busy, but as a chief physician and a teacher at medical schools that shouldn’t be unexpected. It is to a kid though. Scottsdale was beautiful and my father was giving a talk at a place called the Phoenician, which was a Ritz. It was my first Ritz… I will remember forever the mother of pearl swimming pool there. Amazing
*San Antonio, TX – Basic training. Getting a post card 3 weeks in from my family on an Alaskan family reunion cruise. Miserable
*Cracker Barrel – This place is really white and even though I am with white parents I never belonged there. One of the few restaurants I have ever felt that way. I don’t go there anymore.
*The 3 – My two friends and I as kids were the 3 forwards on our soccer team and we kicked some 10 year old ass back in the day. Those fools never knew what hit them…
*The Year Off – My transition from junior high to High School was funny because the inner city schools in Memphis, TN have never had strong soccer teams. When my friends and I entered into the “system” many city soccer coaches took notice because there was literally a “team” of us in the same 2 grades. I remember as we were getting ready to enter High School that I met my future coach, a real pompous braggart that was one of those soccer coaches that dresses as if he is a player too… give it up. He would even try to show us techniques, which was amusing considering most of us played competitive soccer since the school soccer was really just amusing to us. That was the year I “took a year off from soccer” to play golf. The High School coach was not pleased, he wanted us all on his new “super team.” Tough shit Sherlock, I don’t regret it to this day asshole.
*Pre-AP English – “You won’t ever be a good writer. Many people aren’t great at writing, try something new.” So motivating…
*AP English – “Mom I got a 4 on the AP English exam! Can I go shove it in Mrs. ___ #@$%#@%@#$ face?”
*12th grade Art class – My first in school fight that I got caught for. In my defense… it was self-defense. Memorable line from the Principle “we punish all offenders equally here!” My mother “well that is the stupidest shit I have ever heard!” Love…
*2008 – You are released from service Airman. “OMG… OMG”
*The King and I – I was one of the Emperor’s children in a traveling Broadway production of The King and I in Memphis, TN. That was one of the greatest memories of my childhood.
*Boy Choir – I miss my voice. I was a soprano till I was 16 years old. I got made fun of, but I didn’t care. Now I sound like a mortician.
*HarsH ReaLiTy – “This online journal should be a fun and relaxing way of writing a diary…”