Ideas and notes for more stories

Six Flags stories to come
• Faking a fall from the top of the tower, lying injured on the catwalk as the elevator went by.
• Scholarship, Southern Palace employee meeting after closing, called name first, stepped down, stepped over orch pit chain to stage. Got home, told mom; had tears cuz I figured they would be proud; "Why are you crying? Boys don't cry."
• Visits to other Six Flags. Stayed with Mike Glennan in St. Louis (drove with Greg? Sigma Chi guys on trip to conference at Northern Illinois University) slept on floor. Mike got us past lines.
• With parents trip to Atlanta and Florida. Dad and I did Six Flags.
Oh wow, this would be a great place for a new ride.
Walking park after closing, redesigning areas
Designing a park, infl of Disney
Rides mom dad first summer
Suntan: dark skin - light fingernails, bumper sticker
Guilt for getting paid
Watch SPalace shows

Newark Night Court
Character: a tourist (from Oklahoma! stereotypes), not a NY/NJ resident
Naive, open, a little nervous, Night Court stereotypes. Newark stereotypes.
Not want to show my phone, briefcase/backpack/luggage
Maybe a 2nd character - poor guy with little privilege, arrested, for mugging (unsuccessful), fined, court sentenced - contrast with white privilege? Story of black Negro. Put this story first and then switch to "dang I got caught" and then we meet him again in court.

Conflicts
• go or not - Do I go or try to get out of it? Interesting neurobics (explain) - not sure of consequences.
• make flight or not - pressed for time. Find/get to courthouse on time - can’t find the place.

But, I didn't just have White Privilege, I also was born with these:
• Male privilege
• Tall person privilege
• Old guy with most of his hair privilege
• Able-bodied privilege
• Middle-class childhood privilege
And I had developed these:
• Generally good health privilege
• Addiction-free privilege (except coffee)
• No financial worries privilege
• Educated, doctorate privilege
• Higher-than-average global travel experience
• Respected career privilege

Some fun times at TGI Friday's restaurant

Friday's started on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where it helped introduce the Singles Bar and casual dining. Other locations opened up until some investors bought the concept, formed a corporation, and opened up the first 'Corporate store' in the singles party section of Dallas - Old Town on Greenville Avenue in January, 1972. A local law had just passed allowing restaurants to serve mixed drinks.
In 1975, when I decided to become a self-employed designer, I got a job as a server at TGI Friday's restaurant in Dallas - I needed a regular paycheck to get me through the lean years of starting my design business. I enjoyed the work (except for the occasional rude customer). Working at Friday's was a great experience - I made some great friends, had some great times, and learned some valuable life lessons.

Some stories
• OTLE (pronounced OH dull): Option to Leave Early. It was never an option, it was the manager sending home some w/ws when the lunch or dinner rush ended.
• The marriage proposal: LA Marina TGIF beach, kid: "He loves you. Would you marry me?"
• Tampa airport: look motel board, “you know a motel?” guy: I'll show you, wanted to show me around the city
• Denver: not know where I was
• Fridays routines, sit on wall by bar
• TGIF speech, Malcolm MacRae asked if I had an erection, no - khaki pants.

Scudder asks about opening team. Think it over - fit designer bg plan. Not know would lead to corp job. Called him from Richardson VW. Called mom, going to LA.
Mike McClure and I drive to LA get stoned put on sunglasses for the refineries in Midland, Phoenix crash on the bed wake up in time to go to dinner. Stayed in Venice Beach walked to Marina Delray
Trained managers had four in one shift on a Sunday evening fully one third of the restaurant tips were coming to me but I didn't accept them
TGIF speech, Dayton Ohio: Malcolm MacRae asked if I had an erection, no - khaki pants.
Canoe leave after 2:00 shift, Albers Wilson McClure sham betzelberger me
Diego hotel row, meeting room, whiteboard, I led seminar
Drive truck to Cleveland
Chicago: stay on apt floor per diem
'Tripping' up the stairs
Dance in spilled salad dressing
Memorize orders, recite back wrong
TGIF: routines, sit up on wall by bar, waiter nightmares. Getting slammed sitting by the door staff. Give myself power to go poof.
Table numbering system - draw plans on window in hotel room. Took bubble template with me. Got arch plan at store.
Cashier stand: “No rush”
Servers would set their tip tray on the counter for the cashier to ring up. During meal rush times, the trays backed up waiting on change. Many checks needed no change - they were charges or the customer left the total amount - the ticket just had to be rung up. I couldn't see why those had to get in line and delay those needing change back. So, I set those trays to the side, away from the incoming queue of tip trays, yet still within sight and reach of the cashier (green dot above). I would tell her, "No rush" so she knew to ring up the other tray totals first (red dot). I can still see the face of gratitude on the cashier for making her job less stressful and on the servers who got their change back faster. The head cashier asked the manager to make it a company-wide procedure.
Denver: not know where I was
Opening team
Pee in snow in Illinois blizzard
Drive truck to Cleveland
Chagrin Falls
Trip to Jamaica
After helping out in the Louisville store during the Kentucky Derby, Nora and I drove the TGIF van to our next opening: Ft. Lauderdale. On the way, we stopped at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. That's Nora sitting at the entrance.
After opening the Ft. Lauderdale store, we took a short trip over to Jamaica - Lenzy Griffin, Brad Nelson, Lee Ann Malina, Jim, Nora Hughes. After that opening, our Opening Team split up: some went to work at other locations, some went home, and Nora and I drove the TGIF van to the Atlanta airport so Nora could catch a flight to Boston. I drove the van back to Dallas on I-20. Stayed at Motel 6 in Alabama/Georgia. I picked up some hitchhikers to help with the driving.
Door spiels. Door system, Debbie, Lisa; hand signals, anticipate open tables, get party ready
Walk to store

Table numbers and floor plans
In January 1977, while helping open the new store in Marina del Rey (Los Angeles), I revamped the floor plan that was used to assign servers to specific stations. Servers can learn any system. They work enough shifts, they'll get it down. One time, we experimented with naming tables after people. One section was movie stars, another sports figures, etc. We servers finally got it but we often had to refer to the plan where we wrote in the names and we misdelivered food. But, heck, it was fun. The easier a system is to learn and remember, the more efficient it is to train new servers. Food runners are often temporary and transient - servers in training, people pitching in during a meal rush, and novice servers. An easy to learn system takes less time for a trainer to teach and for one to learn.
The existing floor plan numbered the tables in sequence beginning with number 10 and looping around to number 48. The outer cafe sections were lettered A to L in one section and AA to NN. No logic - just a unique number or letter for each table. Tough to learn and tough to remember.

Some observations
• The existing system used no logic or consideration for the new employee.
• The numbers didn't have to be consecutive. Numbers could be skipped between sections.
• The point of reference should be the entry from the kitchen to the dining area (the star in the above map).

The new system requires one to learn only the lead tables (which are numbered in tens digits from 10 to 60) and then count as they walk down the row from the kitchen. For example, to deliver food to table 44, one goes to the lead table 40 at the head of the row, and counts the tables from there until arriving at 44. The lead tables are sequenced in order from the starting point of the kitchen (where all food runners will be coming from). When I proposed the new system, I posted floor plans for reference at the bus stations and at the kitchen delivery area. Some servers moaned about having to learn a new system. I planned to be at each shift to monitor the transition. It turns out that the servers picked up the new system in about a half a shift. They all agreed it was easier and made more sense. Friday's adopted the system in all their restaurants and many use the floor plan renderings shown below. I now notice that many restaurants use this numbering system but I don't know if they borrowed the concept from Friday's.

Advantages
• Logical sequence table numbers require less education to learn.
• Station sections are easier to spot.
• Server names can be written in the capsule shapes on the plan.
• There were blanks to fill in the Shift and Shift Leader.

Menu box
In the 1970s, during slow times when door staff was not on duty, a crude handwritten sign was propped up on a bar stool inside the front door. A server brought menus to table.
I proposed a menu box at the front door that contained menus and allowed people to take and begin reading the menu before the server approaches the table. This minimized the perceived wait times.
The concept was approved and funded. I designed and ordered the custom-made boxes in a Victorian style to match the decor of the restaurant.
The copy on the box read, "Please take a menu and seat yourself."

'No rush' to the cashier

Servers would set their tip tray on the counter for the cashier to ring up. During meal rush times, the trays backed up waiting on change. Many checks needed no change - they were charges or the customer left the total amount - the ticket just had to be rung up. I couldn't see why those had to get in line and delay those needing change back. So, I set those trays to the side, away from the incoming queue of tip trays, yet still within sight and reach of the cashier (green dot above). I would tell her, "No rush" so she knew to ring up the other tray totals first (red dot). I can still see the face of gratitude on the cashier for making her job less stressful and on the servers who got their change back faster. The head cashier asked the manager to make it a company-wide procedure.

More appropriate statement to waiting customers
Also at Friday's, I worked at the door as a Host. When we were on a wait list, we would take names and then call them on the PA when their table was ready. Instead of saying "Mr. Watson, party of 4." (as the Corporate Office requested) I would say "Mr. Watson, your table is ready." While waiting to be seated, the Watson's don't care how many are in their party - they are wondering, "when will my table be ready" so that's what we should tell them. See from the waiting customer's PoV - empathize with them.

After helping out in the Louisville store during the Kentucky Derby, Nora and I drove the TGIF van to our next opening: Ft. Lauderdale. On the way, we stopped at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. That's Nora sitting at the entrance.
After opening the Ft. Lauderdale store, we took a short trip over to Jamaica - Lenzy Griffin, Brad Nelson, Lee Ann Malina, Jim, Nora Hughes. After that opening, our Opening Team split up: some went to work at other locations, some went home, and Nora and I drove the TGIF van to the Atlanta airport so Nora could catch a flight to Boston. I drove the van back to Dallas on I-20. I picked up some hitchhikers to help with the driving.
Below: A promo photo of the Cleveland (Mayfield heights) opening materials.

The Chrysler Spire

My travel buddy, Jerry, and I were in New York City for Thanksgiving 1983. We were just wandering around midtown on day. We admired the lobby and the elevator cars, each inlaid with wood from all over the globe. On a whim, we got in one and punched a button for the top floor. How cool would it be to look around the private club that was in the spire.

Doors were unlocked, free reign. Dusty, store room
see remnants of the club in the Art Deco details in the trim, wallpaper, light fixtures, and what we could see of the carpet.
The Chrysler Building opened in 1931 with a star-themed observatory called the 'Celestial' in the spire on the 71st floor. There were views of the city from all four sides for 50¢. The observation deck closed in 1945.

Jerry and I spent the 1983 Thanksgiving holiday in New York City. A few hilites: Norman Vincent Peale sermon, WTC observation deck, Letterman, Trump Tower, Met opera: Luciano Pavarotti, Leona Mitchell, and Sherrill Milnes, and American Buffalo with Al Pacino. One afternoon, on our way to the 5th Ave Public Library, we passed the Chrysler Building and decided to try to get up into the spire. We took an elevator up as high as we could. When we stepped out, the area was small and we realized we were in the crown of the building. We tried a door and - it opened. Whoa (this was well before increased security). We wandered through the abandoned spaces. We could see remnants of the observation deck from the 30s and 40s. We were able to look out the triangular windows to the city below. Twas strange to realize how few people saw the inside of the spire.


Chrysler Building 1991
This is an Art Deco classic: built in 1929 for the Chrysler Corporation with automotive detailing throughout. The lobby floors are marble from Africa & each elevator cab is inlaid with a different pattern of imported wood. Security is very tight: no visitors are allowed in the building (we were kicked out two years earlier). We huddled on the sidewalk up against the building. Some New Yorkers get a bit perturbed if too many tourists block or impede their movement to wherever they’re going. I shared the plan - that I had once been up into the spire at the top of the building (where the stainless steel arches were punctuated by triangular windows) and we were going to try it in a few minutes. I described the lobby layout, the locations of the guards and the shortest route into an elevator. I cautioned them that we had to look like we belonged in that building. It amazes me how often I get into unauthorized areas by simply appearing that I have been authorized. To hide our Okieness, we needed to put away alll cameras, maps, food, and anything else that screamed ‘tourist’. Once we were ready, I told the students to follow me to an open elevator, act businesslike, not make eye contact, walk briskly, & not to gawk. We made it past the guards. As we approached the bank of elevators, I heard the familiar ding announcing the arrival of an elevator. This gave us a sense of urgency and purpose. Only a couple of people got off and we slid inside the cab while I am hurriedly punching the top floor button. The sooner those doors closed, the sooner I would breathe a sigh of relief.

We tried to get up into the very top spires but could find no access, not even through the Tunisian Consulate on the 65th floor. Dejectedly, I said, well we tried. On our way down we met two ladies who were sympathetic to our efforts to explore the building. "Oh, we work on the 71st floor, go back up and ask Colleen.” Colleen was the receptionist in their office. On the 71st floor there is a balcony at the level of the gargoyles. Down at the lobby level, I motioned to the students to squeeze into the corner that wasn’t visible to the guards. Seeing a group not get off the elevator and go right back up would be a red flag that I didn’t want to risk. No one else got on, I punched Floor 71 and Shut Doors.

We saw Colleen but she was reluctant to let us onto the balcony since the only access was through the corporation's boardroom & she was preparing for a meeting in 3 minutes. We, of course, cared about none of that & continued our plea. She relented & led us through the boardroom to the balcony.

Student trip March 1991
Try to get back into tower
Street: hide cameras/maps, avoid eye contact, walk brisk
Security guard, Elevator ding
Up to top, no access
Down, two ladies join us in elevator, chat OK, tower "oh, we work on the 71st floor, ask Colleen."
Huddled against wall on lobby level. Back up
Colleen, "I can't let you out there - the only access is in the Conference Rm, Bd meeting
Who's going to win this one?

It was spectacular. The sun was setting on the towers of Manhattan. The huge gargoyles were magnificent in their Deco stainless steel. It was a treat. We had promised Colleen we would not stay out there long, so we went on down to the lobby, walked smugly past the guards, & back to the New York City the normal person sees.

Dallas, Texas: November 22, 1963

Just wanna go home
Normal morning. No memory, shoved out by the afternoon.
Ben Franklin Junior
Guide, choir, football games, rode bicycle
Not too interested in politics. Khrushchev going to Disneyland.
4th period: 3 sections, ABC + lunch
Educ tv big carts


I didn't really like English class. It was okay, and fairly easy, but it wasn't something for which I had a yearning or a passion. So, we're doing some English-y thing, when the principal's distinctive voice came over the school PA system. His voice boomed, as it did every morning, out of the wooden box that was mounted in the center of the front wall, up next to the acoustic tiled ceiling. This time, however, he didn't say much, other than, "Attention Students". Then we heard the crackle and static of a radio broadcast coming through the speakers, reverberating through the now-quiet hallways.

"President Kennedy has been shot." I don't remember what followed that. The world had just changed. Nothing that followed really mattered. The President had been shot. The entire building, Benjamin Franklin Junior High School, was silent. Just that radio broadcast and, then, a few sniffles, then some more. Mrs. Gambrell walked down the aisle passing out Kleenex to some of the students.

After English, I had Physical Science. The passing period between classes, normally a riot of noise - lockers slamming and students shuffling and yelling - was absolutely silent. So much so, that it was a bit scary. So unfamiliar and foreign was the feeling of unity among we teenagers that I didn't experience again until April 19, 1995. The Physical Science classroom had one of the few televisions in the building. The educational network had just begun wiring and installing rooms for educational programming. But, now, the television had been tuned to one of the three national networks. The room was packed. Again, no noise at all except for the news broadcaster.

There was really no school the rest of the day. Many people just hovered around the few television sets. The bell rang but most people stayed put, or wandered to find their friends. Many cried. Some sat on the floor in the hallway. Teachers were consoling as many students as they could. At some point in the afternoon, the principal, on that same PA system, announced that some of the buses had arrived and that we could leave school for the day. Since it was a Friday, we had the weekend to adjust and return to school on Monday. But on Monday, while the brick school was the same, the nation was not.

© James Robert Watson, PhD, 2008

(I thought it was all over.)
The pain was so intense I couldn’t see how I could ever laugh again. Excruciating. I was fine in the subway going from my apartment up to Rockefeller Center. The man sitting at the end of the car singing Hare Krishna for 36 blocks was slightly annoying, but not too disruptive. I played games on my phone to get that blasted tune out of my head. I see it clearly now - that's how they get you, those orange-robed Krishnas. A simple catchy tune. Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna. Hare Rama. Rama. Rama. I moved to about the middle of the car and went back to my phone game - Bejeweled. The Krishnas exited soon after. Much nicer. A couple stops later, I exited and came up onto Seventh Avenue. I was only a couple of blocks from Radio City. Great. I felt no pain, like I had on one of the previous trips out of the apartment. I got to the theater and after a short wait to enter, I was in. I went on in to that phenomenal Art Deco lobby with the 40 foot chandeliers that I had seen many times before. This time, I was too focused on my back and worried that the pain might return. I went on downstairs to the Men's Lounge and sat. I could feel a bit of soreness, so I forced myself to continue to sit and be still. I had learned over the last couple of weeks that I could go about 40 minutes before the pain returned to my lower back.

I have seen 15 different Cirque shows, some more than once. Thought I'd better go see this new one, Zarkana, in previews at Radio City Music Hall. What a surprise - it was not very good, actually, it approached awful. The acts were standard fare but as if they were holding back. Nice but not awe-inspiring like I had gotten used to at other Cirque shows.
The worst scene had some decent tightrope walkers performing above the apron of the stage. But behind them was video projections of snakes, a chorus holding flame throwers that shot fire periodically, and a shrieking 'singer' dressed as a large snake. Horrible. The song was awful and she screamed it and demanded our attention with pauses, fire throws, and yelling. As if the director forgot that the audience really wanted to watch the tightrope performers. But it was tough to do that. Very annoying. So bad it was almost funny.
The finale of the first act was just chaos of people in hoops, some even in the video on the back screen. Showing videos and special effects of performers takes away from the respect we had for the humans. We go to Cirque to see daring feats done live, not in computer graphics effects.
Trapeze artists were very good, but, again, it was drastically compromised by the screeching of the singing spiderwoman in the background.
Most shows don't really have a story and we are okay with that - we go to Cirque for the spectacle experience, not the story. This one, of a man looking for lost love was completely detached from the show. With a hokey finale love duet.

The great thing about this show is you get 3 shows for the price of one: a love story with pop ballads, a loud rock concert, and some pretty decent circus acts. Unfortunately, the three events are all happening at the same show, and they have nothing to do with each other. Previous Cirque shows had music that complemented the acts, Zarkana's music defies them. At intermission, a woman was seeking ear plugs so she could just watch the show. When I returned to my seat, I heard the woman in the aisle seat say to her companion, "The music ruined it."

Seat, adam and his wife
Clowns pre-show.
Intermission: okay, just sore. Scarfed down some KitKats (pee issue)
Second act more pain, but no one next to me. There were quite a few empty seats in Act II.
End :sat and waited in case grimace. Talked with Adam
Empty theater :got up okay bath then hit, no place to sit, shuffled to stairs, fewlt like lightning bolts (I assume, I have never actually fewlt a lightning bolt), ask where the cab stand was; hold rail cross the street, lost cab, held onto a sign post, Do I ask the police for help? 2 black cars, the second stopped
Bounces
Driver bout new mattress
The car fare was $28 (18 if by taxi). I gave him all the cash in my wallet, $41. He deserved it. Shuffled through lobby, to the elevator, down the hall, to the apartment. Took some pills and lied down on the bed.

Beyond belief - transcontinental travel, 6 Routes across the land
Add years, historical background of each.
Could pioneers even imagine a jet airplane

Fascinated with Route 66, near my house. traced trial Chicago to Santa Monica. Also, Oregon Trail and the Santa Fe Trail. In western Kansas while on a trip to New Mexico, I stopped alongside the route to see the trail ruts. Parallel to those ruts is the US highway, Route 50. On the other side of the highway is the Santa Fe railroad. I stood in the open field under a beautiful sky and it occurred to me that it was that railroad that replaced the Santa Fe Trail - it was faster, safer, and more comfortable. The railroad declined in popularity as people took to driving on the US highways - like the railroad but more convenient - one's own space and on one's own timetable. Just about that time in my thinking, a plane flew overhead paralleling the trail, the railroad, and the highway - now making 4 ways to travel along this route. I had a couple of impactful thoughts.

1. Indians across the Plains
2. Santa Fe trail ruts: 1822-1880 (route connected Franklin, Missouri, with Santa Fe, New Mexico. The trail served as a vital commercial highway until 1880, when the railroad arrived in Santa Fe. Santa Fe was near the end of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro which carried trade from Mexico City.)
3. Railroad: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) was chartered in 1859.
4. US 50: 1930
5. Airplane
6. Next?
7. After that?

One, the people on the Santa Fe Trail could not comprehend the automobile, much less, an airplane - a metal cylinder full of people that streaks through the sky. They might think one was mentally off if they described such a wonderful way to travel. The wagons on the trail made about 12 miles a day while the car travels that in about 10 minutes and the plane in about a minute. Second, I wondered what the fifth mode of transportation would be. There's no reason to think that transportation progress will stop with airplanes. Just like the wagoneers could not conceive of the car or plane, we may not be able to conceive of the next step or the one after that. Someday, people along that stretch of path in Kansas may look back on the obsolete airplane as being very primitive.

La Grange Chicken Ranch
Lana was my first date. She was employed at the oddly named company - The Chicken Ranch in LaGrange, Texas. We first met in the living room of her house where I asked her out on a date and of course she accepted. We went on down the hall to her bedroom, one of 12 in this house. At least 12. I stopped counting after that - maybe it was a former sorority house. I don't know. In her bedroom, she wanted to make sure I was disease free, so she conducted some tests and proceeded to check me out. This was in the early 70s, well before the time when the CIA had invented AIDS and get it out on to the market. Those tests were worth the $20 in themselves. Then we proceeded to go on our date. It was a delightful evening.
Painted image and name on wall of room at fraternity house. Lana.

My Royal Flush
Damn, I can’t get to sleep. Tossing and turning,. The room is fine. In fact, its quite nice - in the tower at the Luxor Resort in Vegas. The angled wall that is the side of the pyramid is pretty cool. But, damnit, I can’t sleep. I keep thinking about my screw-up. I was playing Video Poker on a machine down in the casino. Hit the Deal button. Up came the 10 and Jack, then the King and Ace. All Clubs. I only need the Queen of Clubs to win big. I hit the hold buttons and then Draw. As the Draw card was coming up, I looked down and noticed I hadn’t hit the 10 card. Only the Jack, King, and Ace. Here comes the Draw cards - a card I don’t remember and then, yep, the Queen of Clubs. The one card I needed. To win. But without the 10, I lost. How could I be so stupid - I might have had a Royal Flush. The big Kahuna, celebrity-inducing

Cardio enema: One more rep
I was at the gym, Gold's on the north side. I was a new member and was doing some chest presses when I looked across the bicycles and rowers and saw the sign over a set of double doors: Cardio Enema. Huh? Did I read that right? It was a serious sign - individual thick letters mounted on the wall above the door. Was it a cruel joke or a mistake by the sign company that no one had yet noticed? I couldn't tell, but I figured that there may have been some exercises in that room I didn't want to do.
I finished the presses and then went to two other machines. I took another look. Nope, still there. Still says Cardio Enema. I got my stuff from the locker room, no shower, not after what happened last week, my first week at this gym. On my way out, I told the fit young woman at the front desk about the sign. She looked at me like I was a fool, turned to read the sign, read it again, gasped audibly, and ran to the manager's office. I waited, no one came out. I was satisfied: I had alerted them, not much else I could do. So, I went on out the front door just as two police cars pulled up, lights flashing. They ran right by me. As I turned back to look, they were pulling their guns out. I drove on home and made a protein shake. Chocolate. Sugarfree - well, I had just worked out.

Such an amazing world
I was sitting at the Border's Books on 59th and Lexington (I had just come from seeing the Frank Gehry collection of jewelry at Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue). I was watching people meander around the store when one person approached this narrow passage, stood on the floor, and the floor moved. First it moved her forward about two feet (her feet didn't move on the floor) and then - and I'm not making this up - the floor she was standing on began to move up at an angle, like a staircase but she didn't have to climb the steps. By golly, she just stood there. What a great invention that is. You stand on the floor, don't move, and the floor takes you up to the next level. You just stand there. Holy cow. What's next - a small room that goes straight up and down?

The other day, I got inside a machine that I store at my house in a special room. I sat in a comfortable adjustable chair and by moving my feet and arms this machine smoothly transported me to wherever I guided it to go. I sat in a lounge chair, in a climate-controlled environment, and listened to music on a custom sound system of songs that I had programmed earlier. I was quite comfortable and without having to exert much energy, I was transported to stores and restaurants, all in a matter of minutes. I call this amazing machine my PTU, Personal Transit Unit. What a great age we live in. We no longer have to walk or ride a horse to get around.

© James Robert Watson, PhD, 2016
https://www.jamesrobertwatson.com/storyshorter.html

Brooklyn opens doors
Brooklyn, who I was apprehensive about in NYC, learned how to turn the latch and let herself out of the apt. Monday dusk, I was sitting outside when I spotted someone with a black Greyhound! I walked over to introduce myself and see the dog. It was Bob, the building manager, with Brooklyn. She was wandering the 5th floor and he was taking her to the vet across the street to have her implanted chip scanned. We took her to my apt and he changed the door handle so it was vertical and harder for her to open. We noticed that the dead bolt lock was busted. Tuesday morning, I left to go get a new one.
When I got back to the building, he stopped me - she got out again and frightened a bitch (human, not dog) at the other end of the hall. She (human, not dog) ran down to the office screaming hysterically and went over to the management office. They called the bldg mgr who explained how gentle the dog was and that, at that very moment, I was out buying a new dead bolt. The issue was brought up that dogs are supposed to be less than 25 pounds (not enforced as there are many other larger dogs in the building). I went up and installed the lock. I met the woman last night (she really is a royal bitch) and apologized.
I went into the city just once a day. Not a bad compromise. The girls get home and to their house, yard, and parks. And I get another week to experience NYC. I love my girls but don't want them freaking out others, even the really bitchy ones.

The lady in the checkout line
I was standing in line at Target - only had a few items, my standard stuff. meals splurge on some granola cereal. I was feeling nostalgic for the granola from the Mirage breakfast buffet in Las Vegas. It was rich and different - there were sliced pecans (is that pee-cans or puh-cahns?). I had returned from Las vegas a few hours earlier and was missing it. I always have a good time there and feel rejuvenated and that all is okay with the world, especially mine.
There was a guy in front of me waiting to check out. He had only 2 items - a can of 5-hour Energy drink and a 4-pack of Red Bull. I was tempted to ask him what he was about to do (it was about 3:14 in the afternoon). But I realized its probly not wise to mess with someone who is planning to OD on energy boosters. The woman was chatting with the cashier. The cashier was a young guy who mentioned that he normally doesn’t work the registers (Great! A novice and I’m in his line.)
One of my pet peeves (Pet peeve? What’s that about,) is inefficient checkout systems and users. This lady thinks this is social hour, a bridge club, a Tupperware party, a road trip with a seldom seen sorority sister. Its none of those - its a place for a corporate representative to pass our desired items by a laser reader and tell us how much money we owe the corporation. That’s all. Not a coffeehouse. Not a place to stop and chat. What’s with this lady? Did she not get the manual of instructions on how to operate the system?
At least she bought a reusable bag. That shows some care and concern for her fellow humankind. Although she wasn’t showing much concern by slowing down the line to chat with the novice cashier. Another procedure she didn’t master was the process of getting money or credit card ready while items are being rung up. No. She waits until everything is rung up and bagged and totaled. Then she begins the routine of rummaging through her purse to find her credit card (at least she didn’t pull out a checkbook and wait to fill it out.). Finally, all done. But, wait a minute. I am wrong. It just hit me - just like that - I am wrong. What is the big rush that I can’t slow down and graciously allow this woman to have a conversation with another person? I have nothing waiting on me at that very moment. I turned my attitude around (that would be edutitta.) Instead of getting pissed over her insensitivity, I questioned mine. I could wait. In fact, its sort of cool that as fellow members of a community of homo sapiens, she was willing to share some time and conversation with another member. Damn. Now, I felt bad for feeling upset earlier. While the guy in front of me was being checked out, I squeezed by him and spoke to the woman. It sorta startled her. I commended her for buying a reusable bag and using it. I showed her my canvas bag. She commented that she normally uses them but had forgotten them today and, instead of using plastic, just bought another one. How cool. We had a nice chat. It feels so much better to acknowledge and respect instead of responding with disgust and selfishness.

Jinx - my line always moves slowest
Single line concept.
All about attitude

Public peeing locations
Edmond: In front of UCO Admin building in Edmond during the 4th of July parade.
Mexico City: middle of a city park
Paris: on a city sidewalk
Edmond: outside the Presbyterian Church

Smoking a cigarette
As a kid, our family would spend many summer afternoons at Spring Valley Country Club in north Dallas. Once, I was walking around the golf course with my mother. It must have been during the week as the course was not too busy. I got somewhat bored but it was a nice walk. About halfway through the course, we took a break at a shed that had a water jug and paper cups. My mother lit up a cigarette (this was before we understood all the dangers of cigarettes). I asked if I could try it. She said, "Sure. Take a deep breath." I did. gag. Cough, Sputter. I was dying here. Hocking my throat out. After I quieted down a bit, she said, "I hope you never do that again." I haven't.

Death on the mountain pass
Scary time was driving through the mountain pass between Denver and Winter Park - I was driving Jerry's Volkswagen bus. And the left tire got stuck in a rut in ice. That rut looked like it had been scraped in the ice and it angled over into the oncoming lane. I had to jerk the wheel to get out of the rut and that caused us to slide on the icy mountain road all the way over to the guardrail, beyond which was a steep cliff dropoff. I compensated and that slid us back to the left, where we were right in the path of an oncoming semi truck. Whoa, turn the wheel, back to the right, straight towards the guardrail. To the left. Truck. Right. Cliff. We got straightened out again I looked in the back. Jerry and Linda were sitting up in the bed with their eyes wide open, with an expression that said, "We're about to die." But, we didn't.

The attack
Last Wensday evening, I was brutally attacked by a kitchen cabinet door. I had left it open earlier in the day. I got home after dark and was running from/with the dogs and thru the kitchen when, Wham, the dang door attacked. It was ruthless. It showed no mercy - even seemed to enjoy the victory. I was KO'd. Truly a surprise attack since we had been, so I thought, on very peaceful terms before this vicious incident. I thought, "Wow, what was that?" I had walked thru here for over 10 years and never had an incident. I had to steady myself for a moment. The dogs were smirking. But I don't blame them. I feel certain they did not set this up. No, this was clearly some conspiracy of a hate crime perpetrated by cabinetry in the kitchen. To show my superior military and problem solving skills, I duct-taped the door shut. It probably didn't need to be, but I wanted to make clear who was the stronger opponent. I snuck up on it with a strip of tape ready and slammed it shut before it knew what was happening. Thank God for duct tape. It is how guys repair anything. Women talk and cry, we grab the tape. Some men even keep one roll by the bed, one in the car, and one at work. I'm convinced there were would be less divorce and marital strife if couples would agree to use duct tape more freely and, well, to install urinals in the bathroom. Men will never put the seat back down, get used to it ladies; but a urinal would mean the toilet seat would never again be an issue of marital discord (or cohabitation discord). Women could even duct tape the seat down. Men would respect and honor that.

Inauguration woman
Sat on a planter in front of the FBI building next to an older black woman, nothing special. Neatly dressed, clean shoes. Pensive reflective mood on her face. She had lived through segregation, I got up to walk and she followed soon after. She walked right by me - I noticed her gloves were old and the fingertips were worn through. Now, I know nothing of her background, but I imagined this - she is old enough to remember either experiencing or hearing stories of Colored Only and regular unfair treatment. She has been looking forward to this day for a while. A Negro (one of the terms she heard as a kid) is going to walk down this street in the capitol and thousands of people will cheer, adore, and honor him. And she will feel a connection. And hope. Something she didn't think she'd ever feel, and now, she will feel it. Right here, on this street in the capitol.
For just a few minutes, all is right with the world. Hope.
Or she might be a corporate exec with a ratty pair of gloves.

Airflite ordeal
Saturday August 13. Take Manny to vet. Drive to airport - get automated message. Oops. 'Flite is delayed'. Will miss the connecting flite. Called United. Woman found me differnet flites thru Chicago O'Hare. Arrive airport park in groj. In terminal - shows flite not delayed. In line to get old flite back. 15 minutes. Check phone - it is delayed. Go to United. Check in, get bd passes. Oops. "There is a problem. Your ticket says Jim Watson. Your ID says James. TSA won't let you through." Jim & James?
Other agent: Theodore & Ted. Isn't that absurd? TSA is a govt agency.
Agent walks down to Continental. Twice. 30 minutes. He takes care of it - even gets me an exit row at no extra charge. I go thru security. Sit and eat a Chicken sandwich. Wait.
Gotta relax.
Flite delayed - it happens.
Poor customer service - that's the new norm.
TSA - just stupid government policies.
As problems go, these are just a minor inconvenience, nothing more. Let them go and enjoy flites, self, and the city. Lots of good stuff today and this week.
Feel better, relaxed in lounge with iPod valium music, got on flite - exit row single - had some coffee, relaxed, and wrote a bit. Excited about seeing the city, new website, fall semester. Will lunch at O'Hare.
Oops. Rain at O'Hare. We land in Peoria IL to wait out storm. Check phone - my connection is delayed so i should be able to make it. Work on laptop. Refuel, paperwork and off. 2 hours? Short flite to O'Hare. Check monitor. Oops. My flite's been cancelled. Go to 'customer service' center. Wait in slow line. I was already rebooked for next morning. Learn details of standby flites. Get wrap and yogurt. Sit at Continental gate. Eat & talk with Houston teacher. Go to Continental to see about standby on flite about to leave. Only seat available is middle seat coach. I say no. Go to next Newark flite - get on standby list. Waited in lounge, observing mankind. Restroom. "Watson, J." What? Was that my name? That was my name. Hallelujah. I go to the counter. Sure enough. I got an aisle seat in First Class on a flite. Nice meal, free wine. No more waiting in the airport. No having to find a hotel. I get to go home to my own bed in my own apt. Fantastic.

I can't deal with this
There was a loud obnoxious knock on the door. I jumped up and cautiously opened it. Two police officers, not happy. They asked if they could come in and talk to me. Sure, I stammered, wondering what was up but also sorta excited about some adventure that might play out. "Do you know Jillian Roberts?" i started shaking my head No. "wait, I met a woman yesterday named Jillian, but I never got her last name." tell us about her. Well, okay.
I was at Pei Wei eating the Chopped Chicken Salad (no fried wontons, please) and typing on my iPad. I was working on a project for class. This woman walked by and commented on the iPad. She said she had never seen one before. I smiled and said something in return, but I don't remember what. She went on to her table with a young school-age teenager following behind her.
I typed some more and finished my salad. Always eager to tout the iPad, i went to her table and showed her the USA Today app - how well the newspaper looked on the pad (are they still called newspapers even when they're not on paper?) The waitress brought their two bowls of edamame. The teenager began eating. The woman kept talking to me.
Phone, no apps, not know password.
Friend invention
Drinking wine. OCS shirt
That music thing - iPod
Cannot send mail.
Freak out - i cant send email. I cant deal with this now. Wish I had my Dell. I backed away.
Restroom laugh. Just leaned on sink and laughed. Mid-chickle, I was interrupted by her son who came in and witnessed my laughter. In my state, I had forgotten to lock the door. What could I say to him. He had to realize what or who I was laughing at. I couldn't think of the proper way to get out of this awkwardness. So, I said nothing. Just offered a weak smile and I hurried out of there. Didn't even look at her back at the table, just walked straight to the door and outside. To my car.
The officers, who had been patiently listening - one was even jotting down a few notes - wonder about connections ever see her before? Somewhat skeptical. What was I to do?

Brief biography
Mitchell has recently been released from a successful rehab program which is helping him overcome his addiction to Catholic schoolgirls in uniforms, you know, the uniforms with the lace around the collar and the knee-high socks with the green plaid pattern. Mr. Stevens must now wear an ankle monitor and is not allowed to leave the metro area nor is he allowed to stray too far from his parole officer, Mary Catherine (a former Catholic School Headmistress - don't even ask what that's about). Mitchell's hobbies include Internet porn, fantasy role playing (just guess what type of little girl Mitchell likes to dress up as), housecleaning, and weekly trips to the racetrack where he moonlights as a stable shit shoveler - try saying that real fast five times - stable shit shoveler, stable shit shoveler, stable shot shiveler, shable shit stoveler, shitle slut stabler - there, I did it. Mitchell is currently married but is also satisfying a young mistress he met while hitchhiking through the Arbuckle Mountains in the spring of 2004. Together (but only on every other weekend) they operate the Get-em-High Bed & Breakfast although they refuse to advertise so nobody knows about it. We think its just a cover up for illegal drug smuggling to Okies in the Arbuckles. But that's just our opinion - Mr. Stevens will probably deny it.

Etymology
1. I don't understand the phrase, 'get a kick out of this'. Why would anyone want to be kicked? Why do we say that in reference to something good - like getting kicked is good.
2. In Manhattan, I take the two dogs to a nearby dog park. Once, while they romped with their pals, I realized that 'dog park' backwards spells 'krap god'. I'm not real sure what the cosmic connection is between these phrases. Holy shit? Supreme turd? I just don't know. Maybe it will come to me one day in the dog park.
3. Emily coined a neword in an email about my leaving New York City for Oklahoma - she referred to the home state as Oklahome. Nice.
4. Have you heard the phrase, "As much fun as a barrel of monkeys"? Help me on this one. Who has ever played with monkeys in a barrel? Wouldn't monkeys in a barrel be pissed off and desperate to get out? Is that fun? Doesn't it make more sense to say, "As much fun as monkeys at an amusement park." or "As much fun as a barrel of whiskey."
5. Since a teacher teaches, an actor acts, and a baker bakes, does a carpenter carpent?
6. Have you ever heard someone say, "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" ? Yuck - what's that about? Horse meat, hooves, horse head? I don't get it. Why don't they just say, "I'm so hungry I could eat a big steak (or Caesar salad or a large pizza)", anything but a horse.

Journal: New York, New York
• My first visit to the Big Apple was in 1961 with the family on vacation. We stayed at The New Yorker hotel across from Penn Station, saw a filming of The Price is Right, and toured the usual sights - Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Empire State, and Times Square. My dad took my brothers and I to a Yankees baseball game.
• In 1972, I went on a Study Tour with Advertising, Theater, and Public Relations majors from the University of Texas. We stayed in the Century Paramount Hotel which was later remodeled by Ian Schrager into a boutique hotel.
• During the 1970s, I took several trips to New York while working with the Pressman Company to produce and market the Round Backgammon Board.
• While teaching at the Visual & Performing Arts High School in Dallas, I took a great group of kids to see the Big Apple. That got me hooked on guiding student Study Tours to the city.
• At UCO and OSU, I continued the tours with college students. During each of over 20 trips to the Big Apple, I would comment on how much I would like to live there. So, in 2004, I bought an apartment in New York City.

Why I love NY
The best of the best
Some of the best museums, theater, art, architecture, music, restaurants, parks, design, naborhoods, shopping, and historical sites in the country. People who strive to be/do the best often make a pilgrimage for New York City. The high standard seems to encourage a level of excellence unmatched almost anywhere else in the world.
Intellectual reasonable people
New York seems to contain a greater percentage of people who operate more on reason and rational thought than feelings or beliefs. Sophisticated, respectful, civil (New Yorkers rarely butt in line), and educated; New Yorkers like to linger over meals or coffee and converse about issues and ideas. The influx of people (see below) and quality (see above) may foster more of a desire and thirst for rational and tolerant discourse. They seem to be more 'fluid' - they can adapt and flow with their environment.
Ethnic diversity
People from all over the planet, sharing their cultures, recipes, naborhoods, ideas, and festivals enhances the environment and experiences of all New Yorkers and tourists.
Worldly
The city is one of the major cities on the planet. It is connected and part of the larger world - what happens in NYC often impacts much of the world.
Rich complexity
There are so many layers of cultural, visual, and intellectual stimuli. Overlapping. Lives overlapping - words, glances, colors, here and there, each touching us in a different way.
Grandeur
The physical size, the importance, the architecture, and the robust in-your-face attitudes.
Heritage
The beginnings of the USA - financial, cultural, commercial. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Washington Square, Stock exchange, World's Fairs, Prohibition, art, Bowling Green, Battery Park, Fraunces Tavern, theater, and on and on - years of richness.
Energy
The excitement of the sights, sounds, people, and activities contribute to a fluid momentum of energy and enthusiasm. Clerks, waiters, deli people - among others - all have a sense of speed, efficiency, and hustle.
Opportunities to enlarge oneself
The city makes it easy to expand one's horizons, experience new phenomena, grow and learn; assuming one wants to.
Touching the natural world
Ships on Hudson Bay, the waves, birds, the parks - there are numerous opportunities to connect with nature, even in the big metropolis.
Famous sights
Well-known and familiar icons - Empire State, Carnegie Hall, Times Square, the Met, the Statue, Central Park - help one connect to a shared heritage.
Exploration
The vastness of the city allows endless opportunities to set out on adventures, to find new things, to discover people, places, and activities. True experiences of serendipity - finding the unexpected, the spontaneous.
Inspiration
As a result of the above, the city is full of creative and intellectual stimuli.

A few things to work on
New York City is a great town, no doubt about it. But (there's always a but) here are some suggestions that would make it even better.
Less horn honking
Gee whiz - most honks are completely useless. Just obnoxious and of no value. The honkee is usually stuck - that driver can do nothing about the situation, and the honker is not making things any better. Horns should be reserved for courtesy calls - reminders, caution - or for emergencies. Honking is so prevalent that many people tune them out and when, like the boy who cried wolf, it is really crucial, they would be less effective.
I suggest we initiate devices in all vehicles with three different options for honking a horn:
    1. A siren sound that would be used only for true emergencies - it would command the most respect in the surrounding reception area. It could be the sound of a person screaming - as a warning of danger.
    2. A brief, friendly toot - this would be used to alert pedestrians and other drivers of a situation that needs attention, like caution, watch out, etc. This would command courtesy and consideration. It could even be like the sound of a person doing the Ahem cough to get attention or Psst - something more human, courteous, and less intrusive.
    3. An electric shock - used when the driver is just being rude or stupid or needs to show some power and superiority. The strength of the shock would diminish as the driver gets conditioned to stop being so stupid and rude. This would replace 95% of all honks in the city.
Less waste
When clerks bag food items, they put in a whole stack of napkins and lots of condiments. I once asked for 2 packets of salt and got a handful. A handful of pepper, too. On the Staten Island Ferry one morning, I ordered 1 breakfast sandwich and 1 bottle of water. The cashier grabbed some napkins. I sat down to eat and counted the napkins - 25. Yes, 25 napkins for 2 items. I got home and wrote a letter to the Dept of Transportation suggesting they could save money and help the environment by giving 2 napkins per food item bought, not 25 napkins. Cutting back on these freebies would cut back on the amount of materials to be thrown away. I have found this one to be true all over the USA but especially pronounced in Manhattan.
Less litter
There's a lot of trash everywhere - even when there is a trash can within easy walking distance. I often stoop down and pick up trash and put it in the next trash can (granted there are less trash cans around now since some people have become more paranoid that a terrorist will put a bomb in one) but there are still enough around. I do it partly to make the city look better, partly to set an example and show how easy it is, and partly to stupefy the natives. Imagine how great the city would look if every one of 8 million people picked up just one piece of litter each day.
Less whining
Holy cow! New Yorkers seem to bitch about any little thing. "Fireworks over our head were too loud." "Trucks driving down my street." The examples go on and on. Get a grip - life in the big city will have some tribulations. I don't know if its cuz New Yorkers are spoiled and coddled, are really fragile, or just like to participate in the national sport of bitchin'.
The journeys between OK & NY
• I sure do put a lot of trust in strangers. The Interstate is full of people I never met who are in control of huge powerful machines that can cause havoc if not maintained and manipulated properly. All of these other people were trusting that I, too, was operating my driving machine in a safe manner. There are so many opportunities for accidental encounters that could be dangerous - I'm amazed there aren't more car crashes.
• I saw signs that read FOG AREA. I was confused about this acronym FOG. What could it mean? Free Octane Gas? Or Fog On Ground or Fog Over the Grass? None of those made much sense. I finally figured it must mean First Over Gear - maybe a suggestion for truckers to shift into first gear - the signs were always near the bottoms of valleys and approaching inclines - where first gear might be better. I don't know. On the drive back, maybe I'll ask a trucker at a rest area.
• Two wonderful inventions - cruise control and air conditioning. While we have many monuments to others, there should certainly be large monuments, especially in the hot south, to these two inventors. Cruise control allows one's right foot and leg to change positions and rest a bit. It also allows the mind to wander a bit more since one doesn't have to be aware of maintaining a safe and steady speed. Air conditioning - the value and necessity of this shouldn't need much explanation (unless you live near Canada).
• There were stretches of Interstate that had lines, convoys, of trucks - a solid line of trucks for miles. I wonder if we should just replace Interstate highways with conveyor belts. Large conveyor belts. We would save on gas, there would be no speeding tickets (unless some moron sped on the belt), and there would be less accidents as each driver would simply put the vehicle in Park and be able to leave the seat - visit with other passengers, sleep, or step out onto the belt and enjoy the scenery. Vendors could drive carts along the belt dispensing snax, drinks, games, magazines, etc.
• My favorite billboard was The DaVinci Code movie is mostly a lie. Gee, its a novel - why so much fear and paranoia? Now, I'm beginning to wonder if those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were also a lie. And maybe Forrest Gimp didn't do all the things the movie said that he did. Maybe there are lots of lies in movies. Now I just don't know.
• I drove between 75 and 80mph but the average speed was less due to the vast amounts of construction forcing traffic to merge into one lane. I was amazed at how many miles of Interstate are having to be refurbished. It may be due to inefficient government bureaucratic spending, highways being built to specs lower than those in Europe, and projects being awarded to the lowest bidder. Result: lots of money spent on highways and bridges and lots of time spent in traffic.
When I drive to and from Edmond OK and Manhattan NY, I pass numerous Interstate highway interchanges that are full of services for motorists - fuel, food, stores, repairs, motels, amusements, etc. Some of these interchanges are small communities that rely on the traffic stopping for their survival. They are a unique part of the American landscape - created and maintained for the convenience and pleasure of mobile Americans - tourists, business people, and truckers. We need a name for these places. Travel Plaza, Services, Service Center. How about Stopping Center. From Shopping Center but expressing the unique attribute - we stop at these places to interrupt our journey for a few minutes or overnight to take care of our needs and wants.

States: New York - New Jersey - Pennsylvania - West Virginia - Ohio - Indiana - Illinois - Missouri - Oklahoma
Miles: 1519
Time: 23 hours 20 minutes
Average speed: 68.3
Gas: $175.  $350 round trip

3-day trips
OKC > Effingham IL (Motel 6, Super 8) > Washington PA (Motel 6, Red Roof Inn) > NYC
NYC > Columbus OH (Motel 6, La Quinta) > Springfield or Cuba MO (Motel 6) > OKC
2-day trips
OKC > Richmond IN (Motel 6) > NYC
NYC > Cloverdale IN (Motel 6) > OKC

Overnight cities
Effingham is a town whose economy and even survival seems to be reliant on Interstate traffic. There were numerous amenities - many motel and hotel chains, most fast food outlets, even a TGI Friday's and a free-standing Starbucks - a very nice one. Interesting to see the industry that now relies on truck and auto traffic. Dinner: two Whoppers for $3. What a deal. Watched Boston Legal and Will & Grace. Explored the town and the Old Highway.
Washington, just south of Pittsburgh is also at an Interstate crossroads. After I walked dogs and they went to sleep (I drove around town. A fascinating Revolutionary-era town. Home of Washington & Jefferson College (founded in 1781 - the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains). Here also is the restored home of Francis LeMoyne, an abolitionist who was active in the Underground Railroad providing safe havens for Negroes that were coming up from the oppressive south on their way to Canada (he also built the first crematory in the country). The Whiskey Rebellion also took place in Washington; the 1788 home of the leader, David Bradford, is now a national historic site. The Federal government placed a tax on farmers who distilled and sold whiskey. Whiskey was the main money crop of this part of the country and the farmers refused to pay the new tax. This forced the hand of George Washington who ordered 12,000 soldiers into the area to quell the rebellion. This showed the nation that the new government meant business, was powerful, and was willing to use force to enforce its laws. Got gas (for the car) and a KFC platter meal. Watched some TV and read the book Brokeback Mountain.
Richmond, about an hour past Indianapolis (the midway point), is on the old National Road with a highway museum.
Cloverdale is about an hour past Indianapolis. Just a room to sleep.
All listed motels welcome pets with no fee or deposit.
Almost all breakfasts were from McDonalds (1 from Tim Horton's in Columbus)

Along the way
Dog issues: Manhattan vomits before Tulsa. Stopped at McD in Stroud, let her walk. Greyhound Rescue mentioned later that she had been in an accident on this stretch of the Turnpike. She eventually got used to riding in the car. Vegas stayed on the floor
Turner turnpike McDonalds: consistent morning stop an hour from home, it gave the dogs time to poop and prep for 3 days in the car
Tulsa years of I44 construction
Joplin Bonnie & Clyde apt and their escape route, surveyed tornado damage
St. Louis Route 66, Mississippi River bridges, the new stadium downtown, and
Indianapolis with the RCA/Lucas Oil Dome
Columbus Ohio and an Art Deco tower building
Wheeling West Virginia with an old suspension bridge now used as a pedestrian walkway
Farms and barns in rural Pennsylvania. I stopped at a rest area on the oldest section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, opened to traffic on October 1, 1940. This was many years before President Eisenhower funded the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Ike had seen how efficient the Autobahn was for moving troops while he was commanding the army in Europe. He returned to the US to help implement such a system here - originally it was for military purposes - to move troops and equipment quickly and to allow hazardous materials to avoid city centers. The Department of Defense even had to approve the new routes. The original plan also called for 1 mile of every 5 to be level and straight in order to serve as an emergency runway for aircraft. Of course, the Interstate system has come to serve primarily civilian traffic. This old part of the PA Turnpike was fascinating - it followed the right-of-way of the former Southern Pennsylvania Railroad. The overpasses were narrow and embellished with slight Art Deco detailing. Signs before the tunnels read Remove Sunglasses.
National Road US40, walked the dogs along the old s-shaped stone bridge (too narrow for traffic anymore)
Cuba MO unexpected snow storm 2010: after seeing trucks in the ditch and tires slipping, I exited at the next Motel 6. Manhattan and I spent the afternoon and evening watching the blizzard. Walked to McD and Walmart for provisions.

First arrival in New York City
Exciting sign: New York City 135 miles. I saw it and laughed. I was getting close to something I had wanted to do for several years. The drive into the city was quite easy. I took the express lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike to the Holland Tunnel. I caught one stoplight at the tunnel approach then on under the Hudson River into Manhattan, down West Street to my block. I parked in the groj in the building while I took Vegas to pee and then on up to the apartment. I unloaded the car a bit later. Driving in the city was exciting. I drove like a New Yorker, edging my car into tight spots and zipping around the city. I didn't, however, honk or use any gestures.

Parking: Harlem
I parked the car (next to the white suv below left)in a fenced lot up on the north side of Manhattan, on the edge of Harlem - I bought a monthly parking place for $170/month. Great deal (parking near my apt would be around $700). I was able to keep the key and I have in/out privileges if I want to drive in the city or to another city upstate. I went up twice after that to pay the next month's rent and to check on the car. The car was good but a bit lonely. When it was time to make the trip back, I took the subway up to Grand Central; I needed to transfer to the Lexington 4 to get up to Harlem. I decided instead, to take the MetroNorth train up to 125th Street. Right before the subway doors closed at Grand Central, I stepped off and went upstairs to buy a ticket. I used a ticket machine (the lines at the ticket windows in the Main Hall were very long). Trains were leaving in 5 minutes and in 8 minutes. I missed the 5 minute one because I stopped to help some people buy a MetroCard. I made the 8 minute one. I put the ticket behind my glasses by one ear. When the conductor came by to collect tickets, I told her that I must have lost it, I've looked all over and I can't find it. I turned my head as I was talking so she could spot the ticket on my head. She laughed. I went back to looking out the window at Harlem. The train came out of the tunnel at 98th Street and I disembarked at the very nice renovated wood paneled station at 125th Street. I walked one block to the lot, got to my car and started it right up. It had sat for over 2 months but it was rarin' to go. I had planned to get an oil change before the 1,500 mile drive, but I was enjoying driving around so much that I took my time. I drove past the Apollo Theater (recently restored and still hosting amateur nights), up the Hudson Parkway, to Fort Tryon Park on a hill with great views of northern Manhattan, the Hudson, the Jersey Palisades (the parkland of bluffs and trees along the Hudson), the George Washington Bridge, and then to the West Side Highway; past the new Trump apartment buildings, the piers with 2 large cruise ships docked, and on to Chelsea to an Auto Center.

Even though the car was running well and I had the oil changed 1,500 miles ago, I wanted to have it checked over before the journey to OKC. I ate lunch while that was going on - brick-oven pizza, a salad, coffee and New York style cheesecake with caramel and walnuts on top. Then I took the car 2 blocks down to get it washed - it had 2 months of NYC soot and grime on it. Then on down West Street to the apartment. I looked for a free spot on the street but found none, so parked in the garage under the condo building.

Parking: Trump buildings
I would call Icon Parking (a garage operator with numerous properties), give them a dollar amount, and requirement of being near a subway station, preferably an express stop. They would find a garage and call me back with the address. Often, it was in one of the new Trump condo buildings that were not yet fully leased. Their garages (and Donald) were hungry for paying customers - they cut me some pretty good deals - $200 for a month of parking. The Trump garages weren't too far from the 72nd St Station.

The first drive to Oklahoma
Got up on Sunday and finished packing, cleaned up the apt, talked with Allen down at the desk (we have ongoing discussions about politics and religion), and loaded the boxes and other stuff onto a cart and took it down to the groj and loaded up the car.
I drove up out of the parking groj and took a last look at the naberhood. Turned right, went a couple of blocks, and on down into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (under the ventilation building that served as the headquarters for the Men in Black) and drove alone thru the tunnel and up into Brooklyn, a typical city drive until I caught a glimpse of the Verrazano Narrows bridge that connects Brooklyn to Staten Island.


On across Staten Island and on to the Interstate to Oklahoma. Vegas wouldn't want me to do any sightseeing, she didn't need to go to the bathroom for many hours, and she didn't like to get out of the car; I was eager to get on home, so I just drove and drove, stopping only for gas and snax and bathroom breaks at rest areas. Decided that I could get farther than Washington, PA where I had a motel reservation, so went on to Columbus, Ohio. The next day, we also pushed it - driving for over 10 hours, through Columbus, Indianapolis, and over the Masipi River by the Arch in St. Louis, getting all the way to Springfield, Missouri. After walking Vegas and resting a bit, I had dinner at Cracker Barrel and some birthday ice cream with caramel topping and whipped cream.

iPod playlists
• Podcasts: History Channel Bios, Bowery Boys NYC, and some enlightening interviews (about 7 hours worth) on freethought from the Center for Inquiry.
• Larry the Cable Guy albums - hilarious.
• Summer musicals: soundtrax from The Wedding Singer, Altar Boyz, and Tarzan.
• New York City mix, Liza Minnelli, Barry Manilow, hip-hop, rock, and more
NYC Subway: mix of subway entertainers.
• Audio-books: Microeconomics, and woozy about Steve Wozniak, the brains behind Apple computer. Woe is a problem solver, strives to make things better, and seeks clarity and efficiency; thus, he's a designer - of the premier kind. He covers his career at Hewlett-Packard working on calculators, the Home brew Computer Club, the beginning of Apple with Steve Jobs, his airplane crash, the US Festival, the first universal remote control, and more.

The drives to and from were very smooth, I saw lots of great stuff, I got some good work done on the apartment, wrote quite a bit, visited friends - old and new, and experienced the city as a native rather than an occasional tenant. The dogs were conversation starters. We were stopped almost every time we went for a walk. Most trips, I had two dogs - Vegas & Manhattan or Manhattan & Brooklyn. We stayed in our usual cities of Effingham IL and Washington PA - both towns with great history and plenty of travel amenities.
They were some of the best summers of my life. Ranking right up there with the 4 summers that I worked at Six Flags as a Ride Operator (we got paid to have fun) and the summer when I was 8 or 12 and I slept in my underwear so that in the morning I could simply step into my shorts (that were on the floor next to the bed) and a tee-shirt. I was ready to go play with my friends all day. Interrupted only by my mother calling me in for lunch and by my father who, after dark, came outside to tell us that "tomorrow would be another day" and to come in and get ready for bed. These summers were as good as that. Even though my mom didn't prepare my lunch and my dad didn't remind me when to go to bed. But still, they are responsible for my being able to enjoy NYC summers so much.


• I parked the car in a fenced lot up on the north side of Manhattan, on the edge of Harlem - I bought a monthly parking place for $170/month. Great deal (parking near my apt would be around $700). I was able to keep the key and I have in/out privileges if I want to drive in the city or to another city upstate. I went up twice after that to pay the next month's rent and to check on the car. The car was good but a bit lonely. When it was time to make the trip back, I took the subway up to Grand Central; I needed to transfer to the Lexington 4 to get up to Harlem. I decided instead, to take the MetroNorth train up to 125th Street. Right before the subway doors closed at Grand Central, I stepped off and went upstairs to buy a ticket. I used a ticket machine (the lines at the ticket windows in the Main Hall were very long). Trains were leaving in 5 minutes and in 8 minutes. I missed the 5 minute one because I stopped to help some people buy a MetroCard. I made the 8 minute one. I put the ticket behind my glasses by one ear. When the conductor came by to collect tickets, I told her that I must have lost it, I've looked all over and I can't find it. I turned my head as I was talking so she could spot the ticket on my head. She laughed. I went back to looking out the window at Harlem. The train came out of the tunnel at 98th Street and I disembarked at the very nice renovated wood paneled station at 125th Street. I walked one block to the lot, got to my car and started it right up. It had sat for over 2 months but it was rarin' to go. I had planned to get an oil change before the 1,500 mile drive, but I was enjoying driving around so much that I took my time. I drove past the Apollo Theater (recently restored and still hosting amateur nights), up the Hudson Parkway, to Fort Tryon Park on a hill with great views of northern Manhattan, the Hudson, the Jersey Palisades (the parkland of bluffs and trees along the Hudson), the George Washington Bridge, and then to the West Side Highway; past the new Trump apartment buildings, the piers with 2 large cruise ships docked, and on to Chelsea to an Auto Center.

Thoughts and notes from NYC
There is a subtle move that people (mainly males) do in New York City - I call it the Pocket Pat. Its to check, when leaving one's apartment, to make sure one has keys and phone in the pockets before the apartment door locks behind you. Its a quick movement to check for the bulges - simple pats on the pockets.
While riding on the subway, a woman got on with a large trash bag full of something soft - maybe clothes. Even though there were several empty seats, she scrunched her bag and set it on her lap so she wouldn't take up two seats. People were leaving the seat next to her empty, thinking she might want to set the bag there. But she never did. She was so considerate and mindful of her space and the needs of others. I couldn't help but watch this sweet woman. She also had a very nice smile to go along with her demeanor. I was somewhat envious - this woman, with her big load, still managed to be polite, courteous, and considerate of others. I so wanted to say something to her but couldn't think of the right thing to say. I thought I could at least tell her she had a nice smile. But then my station approached and a crowd came between me and her as we stood to get off. Another opportunity missed. How often I wish I had acted on my impulses.
July 2004, WTC update: The symbolic cornerstone for the new 'Freedom Tower' at the WTC site was laid on July 4th, 2004, accompanied by speeches from the governor and mayor. While it is planned to be the world's tallest building (1,776 feet) it is currently mired in controversy and legalities and it has yet to sign a major tenant. It will get built but the rest of the WTC complex may take many years. The train I sometimes take from Newark to Manhattan goes under the Hudson River and emerges in the basement of the WTC - now just in the bottom of the pit. World Trade Center 7 (the last building to fall on 9/11) is now topped out at 50 stories tall. One more 40 story building is yet to come down - the structural damage is too much to repair. Another building, an older ornate stone structure, is being renovated. Almost everything else has reopened. City, state, and federal governments are offering hefty enticements for development in Lower Manhattan so there is a lot of activity and new stores, restaurants, and offices. Downtown Manhattan will emerge better than before. The city planners and architects are learning from the mistakes of the WTC in 1972. The WTC complex took up 12 city blocks, closed off streets, and turned its back to the naborhood thereby sucking street life and pedestrian activity from that part of downtown. The new complex will have street level retail (instead of the underground mall); streets will be put back in; and space is being earmarked for a performing arts center, museums, and a children's centers - in addition to the 9/11 memorial and museum.
April 2005: Gettin' into the flow. There is a fluid energy that permeates the city - there is a beat, a rhythm, that should be tapped into. If not, its easy to bump into people, to be a nuisance, to be like a tourist. But, once the rhythm is established and one gets into that groove, once can navigate tight openings in crowds, cross streets without disrupting traffic.
So many people are plugged in - they've got headphones on - listening to all sorts of input. This headphone culture has developed a new etiquette. Communicating to people on the street (sales people, passersby) must be done non-verbally - a nod, a smile, mouthing 'No, thank you.' Hearing people is possible but one must work a bit harder to decipher what is being said. Talking to people with earphones on (the dangling wire is the clue) requires a bit more patience.
Listening to music on the iPod makes the entire environment seem a bit surreal. Sometimes the music fits the people, the pace, the activity. Sometimes it defies those things. Either way the music puts a unique twist on the reality of the here and now that is going on.
Sitting in the sun in Union Square. Listening to the Favorites playlist on iPod. Watching people. Got surreal. Time was altered, slowed down. Some were reading. Playing music. Sunning. Soliciting. Seeking petition signers. Cell phoning. Conversing.
It is such a thrill to wait in a hot subway station, anticipating the air conditioned cars but hoping you won't have to stand in a crowd, then looking into the car as it pulls in and seeing three empty seats - room to sit with one on either side for breathing room. Glorious.
I spent several hours at the Liberty Science Museum across the Hudson River in New Jersey. They have impressive exhibits. The day I went was also the day that 2,000-3,000 kids from the Police Athletic League went. Despite that noise and crowd, I observed some neat stuff:
• In the IMax theater (where I saw a big movie about Hurricane Katrina and the loss of wetlands in Louisiana) a chaperon was telling his charges, "Move down" (he meant move along the row). The kids looked confused. They had just climbed up the steep aisle stairs looking for seats. The chaperon could have meant "Move down" (to another row). 'Move down the row' and 'move down a row' are very similar commands. Often, the context helps us determine which is meant, but, in this case, the context didn't help much - "Move down" could have easily meant either option. He had to keep repeating himself and gesturing before the kids understood exactly what direction to move he meant.
•  Exhibits that were 'hands-on' were much more popular than those with just text, images, or stuff to look at. Kids even punched 'buttons' that were actually just bolts or circles. This generation has gotten used to a push-button world that was the stuff of science fiction not too long ago.
• In the Communications exhibit, a father was getting impatient with his girls who were at a busted exhibit. "Come on girls, that's not working." "Come on." he repeated. He probably couldn't understand why anyone would stay so long at an out-of-order exhibit. Finally, one of the girls turned to him, "We're pretending". How cool - the girls found a way to make the exhibit work - just use your imagination. Old guy couldn't see it cuz he probably lost his inner child a while back. The girls played a bit longer, then joined dad and the rest of their party who had moved on.
In New York this summer, I went to a great design exhibit called Sauma [Design as cultural interface]. It was a showcase of innovative design from Finland. From the wall text: The task of the designers is to create the best possible solutions by merging the wisdom of tradition and the excitement of innovation. The designers are deeply rooted in the traditions of craftsmanship and cultural environment. They shape our daily experiences by creating tangible objects that give us a way to relate to the world. As keen observers, the designers translate the newest technical innovations into practical tools. Thus design can be understood as a cultural interface that facilitates navigation in the world of ever changing cultural, social, and technical demands. Their website.2006
Gettin' into the flow. There is a fluid energy that permeates the city - there is a beat, a rhythm, that should be tapped into. If not, its easy to bump into people, to be a nuisance, to be like a tourist. But, once the rhythm is established and one gets into that groove, one can navigate tight openings in crowds and cross streets without disrupting traffic.
So many people are plugged in - they've got headphones on - listening to all sorts of input. This headphone culture has developed a new etiquette. Communicating to people on the street (sales people, passersby) must be done non-verbally - a nod, a smile, mouthing 'No, thank you.' Hearing people is possible but one must work a bit harder to decipher what is being said. Talking to people with earphones on (the dangling wire is the clue) requires a bit more patience.
Listening to music on the iPod makes the entire environment seem a bit surreal. Sometimes the music fits the people, the pace, the activity. Sometimes it defies those things. Either way the music puts a unique twist on the reality of the here and now that is going on.
Sitting in the sun in Union Square. Listening to my Favorites playlist on iPod. Surreal. Time was altered, slowed down. Watching people. Some were reading. Playing music. Sunning. Soliciting. Seeking petition-signers. Cell phoning. Conversing.
2006, I was sitting at the Border's Books on 59th and Lexington (I had just come from seeing the Frank Gehry collection of jewelry at Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue). I was watching people meander around the store when one person approached this narrow passage, stood on the floor, and the floor moved. First it moved her forward about two feet (her feet didn't move) and then - and I'm not making this up - the floor she was standing on began to move up at an angle, like a staircase but she didn't have to climb the steps. By golly, she just stood there. What a great invention that is. You stand on the floor, don't move, and the floor takes you up to the next level. You just stand there. Holy cow. What's next - a small room that goes straight up and down?
Summer 2006 with no television. Well, there is a television in the apartment but the antenna only picks up a slightly fuzzy educational station from New Jersey. To get good reception you have to subscribe to cable and I have yet to do that. It doesn't make sense for the few weeks that I would use it. But, okay, here's the real reason - I just hate the cables that are stapled along baseboards and over door trim to get to the television. The jack in this apt is on the opposite wall from the TV. I played with a different arrangement to get the TV by the jack but it just did not work as well. Anyway, a summer without television has been sorta nice. I can go down to the club room to watch the big screen as I have done a couple of times to watch Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal, and The Office. I am much more productive without the regimen of television and enjoy my evenings much more walking along the Hudson, talking with people, and interacting with the city instead of with equipment. I will see how much of this carries over when back in Oklahoma. I will try to watch less television. (I subscribed to cable and internet from 2010 to the summer of 2013.)
Two months and 5 days, 66 days total - my summer in New York City is coming to a close - for the moment; I will be back. This has been one of the best summers of my life. It ranks right up there with the 4 summers that I worked at Six Flags as a Ride Operator and the summer when I was 8 or 12 and I slept in my underwear so that in the morning I could simply step into my shorts (that were on the floor next to the bed) and a tee-shirt. I was ready to go play with my friends all day. Interrupted only by my mother calling me in for lunch and by my father who, after dark, came outside to tell us that "tomorrow would be another day" and to come in and get ready for bed. This summer, 2006, was as good as that. Even though my mom didn't prepare my lunch and my dad didn't remind me when to go to bed. But still, they are responsible for my being able to enjoy this city so much.
June 2008. One weekend, I decided I would be quite decadent and act like a tourist kid. Just to have fun. I went to 42nd street between 7th and 8th Avenues. This area was notorious in the 1970s and 80s for being the epicenter of porno theaters and sleaze shops. True story: In 1981, I was leading a study tour and we stopped at the corner of 42nd and 8th Avenue. I told each student to be careful but to notice what goods might be offered to them as we walked the one block to 7th Avenue. I polled the group - every single student had been offered drugs, sex, or both. Fortunately not one of them accepted the enticements. Soon after, the city of New York set out to clean up 42nd Street. Disney was lured in to renovate one of the theaters (the New Amsterdam) and the other theaters were slowly reverting back to legitimate uses, one porno is now even a children's theater. 42nd Street is alive with fun amusements, restaurants, and shops (if you're interested, some of the sex trade moved around the corner to 8th Avenue.) There are 2 movie complexes - one with 13 screens and the other with 25 for a total of 38 screens on one block of 42nd Street. But I went there to see the 3 amusements pictured above.
A Chorus Line (excellent) at 2pm. That was enough time to be amazed by what had been collected and displayed in the Odditorium. After the show, I went back to the 'Amusement Park' and had an early dinner at Applebee's - the appetizer sampler. Dawg, it was good. Then on to Dave & Busters to play some arcade games. But, shoot, I couldn't find Pong, Frogger, or Asteroids. Not only did I not recognize the new games, I couldn't even pronounce the names of some of them. I asked an attendant if that had any good old pinball machines. "Pin-what?" Apparently they didn't. I finally found a game more my speed - one where you shoot coins onto a pile and when the mechanism pushes some of them into a trough, you win. This I could play. I did and I won. I actually got to where it was enjoyable and fun to play. I had played so long, it was time to go home and walk the dogs. But I went back on Sunday to see Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. This was even better than Ripleys. Spooky likenesses, so realistic - more than once I got caught off guard expecting a figure to move or turn and look at me. The settings and info cards were also very well done. After that I went back to D&B, this time to play Trivia: I sat at chair number 4 - my lucky number. I kicked butt. People would stop playing because I kept winning the rounds. I took my winning tickets to their store and bought some tacky crap: 2 books on Ripley's oddities, a push-button fart machine, 5 sets of green train track layouts with 5 wind-up cars and trucks, Homer and Bart dolls for the dogs, and 124 squooshy-spiky balls.
"Where's my face. Everybody stand still. Don't take a step. I can't find my face." Fortunately, two older men and one really wrinkly old lady calmed me down and told me it was hiding behind that ugly thing between my ears. Whew. There it is, right where I had left it. You never know when it might come in handy. Like when you have to eat or blow your nose. Think how hard either of those tasks would be if you had truly lost your face. Thinking that I had better get out of the garden, I headed inside to the gift shop. One of the security guards snickered as I went by. "Yes, I'm wearing shorts!" (Snickered sure is a silly word - snickered.) In the gift shop I bought a t-shirt, not because I needed it but because I was tipsy and this is America where we just buy stuff. I also tried on some cologne but because the bottle was facing the wrong way (or the right way if you were standing behind me and a bit to the left) I sprayed again. Oops, too much. It was a scent called 'At the beach' and it smelled just like Coppertone suntan lotion. So now, too much to drink, I smell like Coppertone, and I'm in line to buy a t-shirt that I don't need. Damn. The guy behind me took a step farther back and told his wife that it smelled like suntan lotion in here. I suspect he, like many of the men there, was jealous that I was wearing shorts. Even the kids were in long pants. People, its a fuckin garden party. The wine was very good. The snacks sucked.
Fall 2008. At the Terrace Cafe on the fifth floor of MoMA, I looked out on a spectacular fall day in Manhattan. I had a lunch of bread, coffee, and organic deviled eggs: black caviar, pickled red onions, and herb creme fraiche. I don't usually eat caviar (hardly ever) but I love deviled eggs and splurged on this. They were delicious.
To respond to numerous requests for more information about the Lace strip club in New York City (8th Avenue, just north of 42nd Street):
• Yes, you might get special treatment if you mention my name. That can range from a waived cover charge to a stud discount in one of the back rooms. However, if you do mention my name, be aware that they know me only as Rod Thrustenberger.
• In the reference above, I mistyped - Lace is not a strip club, its a Gentleman's Club or Gentlemen's Club (its spelled both ways on the signs in the foto). As far as I can tell, a Gentlemen's Club is just a strip club with better cocktail glasses.
• Please keep in mind, I was there only to assess the design of the Lace logo (as seen on the awning canopy in the foto). Anything I know about what goes on inside is only from stories I've read and heard.
January 2009: While riding on the subway, a woman got on with a large trash bag full of something soft - maybe clothes. Even though there were several empty seats, she scrunched her bag and set it on her lap so she wouldn't take up two seats. People were leaving the seat next to her empty, thinking she might want to set the bag there. But she never did. She was so considerate and mindful of her space and the needs of others. I couldn't help but watch this sweet woman. She also had a very nice smile to go along with her demeanor. I was somewhat envious - this woman, with her big load, still managed to be polite, courteous, and considerate of others. I so wanted to say something to her but i couldn't think of the right thing to say. I thought i would at least tell her she had a nice smile. But then my station approached and a crowd came between me and her as i stood to get off. Another opportunity missed. How often i wish i had acted on my impulses.
March 2009 .Thursday evening of spring break, I was wandering around Times Square. I had gone to get a ticket to 39 Steps, a funny comedy; I decided not to and, instead, just walked around with the flow of the crowds. I went into the Marriott hotel to use the bathroom. When I came out, there was a small crowd across the street, right at the end of Shubert Alley, next to a couple of Broadway theaters. Several men held shoulder mounted video cameras and others had some 35mm cameras with pretty good-sized lens. I stopped to see what was going on. Two of the people in the crowd moved towards me and stood right in front of me, within inches. I was a bit baffled. I looked at their faces. One was Matthew Broderick. The other was Sarah Jessica Parker, his wife. I looked down at her scalp - she is a short woman. They both looked sad. There were a few other people near us that I recognized. Very familiar faces, including her mother, Vanessa Redgrave. Then it occurred to me what was likely going on. They were friends of Natasha Richardson who had just died. As I learned later that night, the lights of Broadway theaters were dimmed for one minute in honor of the actress. This group was standing at the best place in Manhattan to see the most theaters. There are about 6 or 8 theaters within sight of the spot where we were. I suspect the lights were dimmed while I was inside the Marriott. Then a tall man came up and hugged Sarah (is it Sarah or Sarah Jessica?) She whispered, "Thank you, Liam. How are you?" Liam Neeson, Natasha's husband. He, too, was sad. "15 years." He kept saying, fifteen years - they were married in 1994. The crowd of celebs took turns hugging and kissing him. One of the well-known faces asked him what he was going to do now. He said he was going to an Irish bar and get a drink. "You know, a traditional Irish wake." Broderick asked him where. He wasn't sure. This was going on all around me. I just stood still, right in the middle while we were circled by the photographers. The footage was aired on the news later that night. With one goofy looking Okie right in the middle. One videographer bumped over and around me - probably hoping that I would move. I didn't. I was tempted to pull out my iPhone and snap some pictures but I didn't want to look like the other tourists around who were sticking their phone cameras into our circle. Liam gave a few more hugs then walked off down Shubert Alley with a friend. The photographers didn't follow him. They left him alone.
July 1 2009. In 1967 Joe Jackson drove his sons from Indiana to the Apollo Theater so they could perform during amateur night at the famous Apollo in Harlem. They had very little money. He wasn't even sure where they would spend the night. The youngest of the Jackson 5 was Michael, 9 years old. They performed and won. The Apollo wanted them to come back but the Jacksons couldn't afford it. Soon after, Diana Ross saw them perform and she introduced them to the rest of us. The Tuesday after Michael died on Thursday, the Apollo Theater held an open house memorial from 2pm - 8pm. It was part respectful memorial, part party and celebration, and part shopping mall. I went to participate in the event. Michael Jackson's music formed much of the background soundtrack for me in the 1980s. Larry Lewis, one of my high school students, treated me to a ticket to the Victory Tour concert at Texas Stadium in 1984. It was a phenomenal concert. MJ can wow a crowd. Even in death. Some issues to ponder:
• MJ was acquitted - found innocent - of all charges in one of the 2 child molestation charges.
• The other case was settled out of court to avoid the negative publicity.
• The mother of 2 of his kids, his family, and friends have all emphatically stated that Michael is not a pedophile.
There is no evidence that he molested anyone. There is precedent, however, that some adults will exploit celebrity millionaires to get money.
• He did not 'dangle' his baby off that balcony. He had a firm grip around the child. Dangle is the term the media used to sensationalize the event and millions of gullible viewers bought it, without thinking that it was the wrong term. I wonder how the media would report it when dads toss their kids up, "Father abandons child in air" or "Dad lets go of child in mid-air."
Michael Jackson had an unusual childhood, a domineering father, success as a star at the age of 9, etc. Of course, he's going to be eccentric. But what talent. An incredible entertainer. And a great humanitarian.
May 2010 - I was enjoying the latest art project in Madison Square Park: Event Horizon by Antony Gormley. Numerous life-size statues perched on tops of buildings overlook the city. It was fun to seek them out and very dramatic to see these characters out of place. There was a crowd gathering so i asked what was going on - Carmen Electra was going to shave guys' chests as part of a promotion for a Norelco shaver. Carmen Electra? Damn, i felt so old - i thought Carmen Electra was a Buick. Seriously.
i was too embarrassed to ask anyone there (who all seemed quite excited over the prospect of seeing this Electra person - or car). It wasn't until i got home later that i researched her: born Tara Leigh Patrick, married to Dennis Rodman, Playboy model, and movie star who got her start in the chorus line at an amusement park in Ohio.
But, back to the park. decided i better stick around to see the eventness of a celebrity with an entourage. was standing in a prime spot - i purposefully got back by where i assumed they would lead her up on to the temporary stage. didn't care about seeing the guys getting shaved, i wanted to see a star in the city. She is quite stunning, i could see why Rodman wanted to pork her and why she was a bunny, and why guys in the park were so excited.
NY is wonderful. Better than I hoped. Weather has been decent - several cool mornings and days (some hot and muggy). Next summer, will come 3 weeks earlier - cooler weather, longer time. I know that spending time in New York City is a privilege I would never have had if my parents had not sacrificed and saved and given to me and my brothers. I thank them almost every day.
I often see people looking at maps, looking at street signs, or just looking lost. I will go ask them if I can help them find something. I have yet to be stumped. In my naberhood there are many questions about the World Trade Center and how to get there - I guide them there and tell them about the exhibits and models of the memorial and new office towers that are on display. I guide people to subway lines, Brooklyn, Times Square, Little Italy, etc. Someone pointed out (while waiting on me to help some lost folks) that it is the teacher in me, wanting to help and guide people. I also wonder if it is the training I got for 4 summers while working at Six Flags to help guests. Whatever, I enjoy it. I want these tourists/visitors to have a good experience in New York and to not think all New Yorkers are abrupt and rude (I don't let on that I'm not really a New Yorker).
I talked to a woman today in Battery Park and she commented/assumed that I was a New Yorker. I nodded yes. It was the first time I had acknowledged the identity of being a New Yorker. Weird but sorta neat.
There is now a serious police presence in downtown Manhattan - and not ordinary police, but these decked-out military style soldiers. There are also National Guard kids stationed throughout the city. Seeing these quasi-soldiers on street corners and in Grand Central reminds me of seeing soldiers in Egypt - a third-world, unstable government. This is the United States of America. What is going on - paranoia, overreaction?
Update 2020/21: there are armed security guards and barbed wire fences around the US Capitol.

I killed my neighbor’s wife.
Conflicts
• passion to help driven out of love for the couple and the family. I think it’s the right thing to do.
• breaking the law. murder, ethics
debate, chicken out, u-turn, drive home.
actual act - have second thoughts. see her face and smile. can I kill her?
Resolution: Not guilty, but still feel sad, still a murderer
Maybe I’m arrested and prison, trial and sympathy before admitting confession?
Murder
Flashback: Prep to commit murder
My relations with family
Naberhood fireworks, mayor of block
Bkgrnd marg hosp, room, Religious family
Mike saw wife daily.
Mike to home skilled
Mike no more drive, Jim takes Mike - right thing to do
Mike in gets worse, moved back to Critical Nursing. Uh oh.
Get text: Mike died
Visitation: open casket
Burial: Prairie Chapel Cemetery family plot
Cemetery: who was Danny baby?
Prep murder plan, get lawyer (not tell of plans - just interviews and selection)
Prep for arrest/prison (show I’m kind and thoughtful): sadness of boarding dogs, locking house, car, empty fridge
Murder: Pull plug Marg, put plan in action
Investigation
Wait for arrest, walk dogs
Knock on door
Arrest: rude violent officer
Bookling, Prison: cold, lonely, tough
Jail, murderer
Media judgment
Trial
Confession
Public support
(Family divided, the devout Christians wanted to thank me, the NRA gun slinger wanted to prosecute me.)
Guilty
Little punishment?
Jim released (or leave open)
Lawyers want to use the defense of a faulty feeding equipment. I protested and said no I did it, I'm guilty, it wasn't the machine.
Family & Public support: Jim's a hero. They go up to heaven together.
Together again
Till death do us part.
Spooky couple: sit on couch, pass in hall, not a word.
Dinner: open chair next to Mike, with Squire (Portales) & Athan (from Hollis) truck driver rt 66. I sat in chair where man died last night. What was his name? He had been sick. The expression on my face must have conveyed how uncomfortable I felt- Squire said it was okay, they liked me sitting there. I was uplifting. Simple pleasures.
Of course, I was a little nervous on the short drive from my house to the nursing home. It was a drive I made many times before to go visit her - Mike put her into this facility two years ago and he went to visit her several times a day but this was just me. Nobody else knew that I was making this trip. I didn't tell anyone. I knew I might never go home again. I had packed my bags with a change of clothes and a few toiletries. I had secured my computer and had written some explanatory notes to be found when the police searched my house, I took the dogs to stay with a friend (I gave some excuse why), turned off the electricity to the house. I left the front door unlocked so it wouldn't have to be broken down.
At the Skilled nursing home, I parked in my usual spot. The staff had seen me many times escorting Mike to see his wife. I just smiled and walked right past them at the nurse's station.

SuperResponder
The one who says all the right things, the things we wish we had said, but didn't think of it or we chickened out.
Oil change
Waved over to open lane, walked back
I pulled in. Guy got upset, walked out, back, to window
There is a big hole in the floor. You almost drove in it. Thats why there is a sign back there to wait for attendant, to guide you in.
Superstud: let me see, you think i'm so stupid that I would drive into that pit, even though I've driven over numerous oil change pits, even though it has a metal lip around it, and even though you waved me in.
-> Sorry, but I don't want someone so ignorant working on my car.
Randy: don't throw that in my face. Wait. If make mistake, must accept responsibility, consequences. It eroded my trust. You ask do I trust you. Of course not. I'd be a fool.
Want to sit outside? Sure.
-> Hell, No! It's 95 degrees.

At the front deck of a pita shop on the Washington Strip, I stopped off to get a beer. I got to chatting and joking around with the guy selling the beer. When he needed to go get more beer to put in the tub, he left me in charge of selling beer. Cool, I can do that. What I wasn't prepared for was the line of people that would periodically form. I would reach in the tub of ice to get their beer, check IDs when necessary, open it with the opener, take their money, and make change. I just stuffed wads of bills in my pocket. When he got back, he counted up the money I had in my pocket - it was about $130. It was a lot of fun.
IDs: do you have an ID? Yes. Good, that's all I need to know.

FOUL - that's the new acronym have created for my life. Foul. It stands for fat, old, ugly, and lazy. I find it very liberating. People don't expect much from someone who is fat, old, ugly, and lazy (or just foul). With lowered expectations comes less disappointment. I no longer have to be concerned with my weight, my appearance, or how long stay in bed napping and reading the newspaper

I realized I am no longer 'getting old'. I am old. Yep, it happened while I wasn't looking. Out of the blue, POW, Old. Just like that. If I had been given some advance notice I might have done something about it. Or maybe not. But, sure enuf, I'm old. But its okay. I can now get by with a lot more stuff. I can now, with less constraint and ridicule, bitch and gripe about current events and politics; exude any manner of bodily noises; display cranky behavior; get up and walk away from any function without reason; forget birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates; pepper conversations with terms such as proctology, urology, probing, and colonoscopy; and dress myself without caring - polyester is now acceptable, my socks don't need to match, black socks can be worn with white tennis shoes, and mixing conflicting patterns is expected
Last Wensday evening, I was brutally attacked by a kitchen cabinet door. I had left it open earlier in the day. I got home after dark and was running from/with the dogs and thru the kitchen when, POW, the dang door attacked. It was ruthless. It showed no mercy - even seemed to enjoy the victory. I was KO'd. Truly a surprise attack since we had been, so I thought, on very peaceful terms before this vicious incident. I thought, "Wow, what was that?" I had walked thru here for over 10 years and never had an incident. I had to steady myself for a moment. The dogs were smirking. But I don't blame them. I feel certain they did not set this up. No, this was clearly some conspiracy of a hate crime perpetrated by cabinetry in the kitchen. To show my superior military and problem solving skills, I duct-taped the door shut. It probably didn't need to be, but I wanted to make clear who was the stronger opponent. I snuck up on it with a strip of tape ready and slammed it shut before it knew what was happening. Thank God for duct tape. It is how guys repair anything. Women talk and cry, we grab the tape. Some men even keep one roll by the bed, one in the car, and one at work. I'm convinced there were would be less divorce and marital strife if couples would agree to use duct tape more freely and, well, to install urinals in the bathroom. Men will never put the seat back down, get used to it ladies; but a urinal would mean the toilet seat would never again be an issue of marital discord (or cohabitation discord). Women could even duct tape the seat down. Men would respect and honor that.

Thoughts/sensory input are often distorted or misinterpreted when processed in the mind. We remember the unusual, forget the usual. The average human being experiences about 1 million events a month. The odds are great that at least one of those events will be quite weird, unexplainable, beyond one's realm of understanding. Some may see that as a 'miracle', others just understand the law of averages and the inability of the human brain to be able to explain everything it experiences. Rationality can lead to a better, more satisfying, and more fulfilling
'Lucky' people see opportunities. If there's a puddle in sidewalk, kids will jump right in (and enjoy it). Adults will not only walk around, but bitch about it as they do. Results come, not from what you say or do, but from what you think, feel, and believe. You need no excuse to feel good.
Celebrate life. Visualize, see it as it is. Then visualize it as better than it is, and work to make that happen. Whatever you focus on feels real. Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. We too often focus on what we're afraid of. January 2006.

Ex-girlfriend
Volleyball, Gershwin‘s, glass of wine in the car, musicals in Fort Worth, camping in Santa Fe, pony soldier Motel: “which bed do you want”, breakfast in Las Vegas, broke up due to spiritual differences,
dreamed of her knocking on my door, walking into my classroom, feared that later she might’ve had the same dream and we would grow old and never get back together.
I had to go see her
Breakup with her
Sad story stubborn rash regretful try to make right
Great couple
Theater, VB
Devout vs atheist
Couple should share basic beliefs. She said we could discuss it and grow.
As an ignorant believer, I was stubborn.
I apologized to her for the pain that I caused - that was very nice. She said she isn't holding any grudges. Don't bring up sex or life together or why never married. I just screwed up, I made a stupid decision. Maybe things would've been different. Or I might be a fucking faggot.
Got to relax. I made choices that influenced hundreds of kids to be better thinkers. Got a good life.
Jim: let go, move on. I lost Laird and I lost Cecilia.
Laird died and Cecilia has moved on. So must I.
Gracious patience
You are just as beautiful as I remember from 1985.
Sorry for the loss of your parents.
So glad we met (in Santa Fe). If our paths cross, hope can be friends.
Our brief time together in 1985 has had a huge impact on my life. You inspire me still today.
Am working on less regrets.

The Party House
stop notice on door
notice 6 bedrooms
city meeting
I immediately noticed the bright orange Post-it note on the front door of the new home under construction just down the street. Bright orange car was not normal in this neighborhood of older Craftsman homes and mature trees. I had to go up and read it. It was a work stop notice. It meant that the city inspector has commanded the construction crew to stop work I’m not home until us and inspection could be completed. This was very unusual. Normally all these things are approved in advance, there’s no need to stop construction. Now I was curious - I had to find out what was going on.
wandered through house. noticed identical bedrooms, each with a bath, and room for 2 washing machines and 2 dryers. This is a dorm or boarding house. 2 blocks from campus - this was going to be student housing.
talked to nabor. heard of meeting
Open with the contentious meeting with the city where it’s discovered a six the bedroom has been added. Introduced the resident characters and some of the city characters at this meeting. Then flashback to earlier issues with the city.
Topple city government
How did Martin know City Council had changed the zoning? Someone on the inside must’ve informed him and was in on the deal to make some money. (Mayor friend or business associate or kickback.) Or did they change zoning due to pressure from developers?
Meetings with planning commission inspectors. Sixth bedroom horrible package on the coffee
Implicate mayor, go after mayor, turns out it was the attorney who had blackmailed the mayor into supporting his scheme attorney was frustrated that instead of a lucrative law practice he was stuck as a civic attorney and he was jealous of the money his colleagues were making. He set out to supplement his income
Developer has plenty of money, from those silents bankrolling him (who are these people/companies ?) but he wants code variances, contractor contract variances (he has his hands in a contracting company that he will favor).
Lead the reader to believe it is the mayor, but it is actually the city attorney who is the wing man for the developer. Developer pay his attorney big bucks and expects the attorney to spread that around among the planning commission, city Council, and code inspectors.
Attorney wrestles with the thought of keeping all the money for himself or spreading less than the developer would like, in order to keep more money. The developer gives up after a while and tells the attorney to handle it however he wishes.
Attorney who prosecuted or was going to file a lawsuit against the city because of the party house used to live in Edmond buddy move because he couldn’t take how stupid the city was list stupid examples in Edmond he reluctantly came back and sure enough the stupid was still permeating the entire city.
Martin controlling the neighborhood, through the attorney, also influenced the council not to deal with parking signs no more letting the church in. It was to Martin’s advantage that there be street parking and a church in the neighborhood.
Characters
angry neighbor Mark and Jerry.
English lady as a calming influence
City councilman who did nothing, what was his role in the bribery?
meeting with landlord: attorneys run the meeting, more bullshit
Conflict
attorney/mayor bumps off the other one who is threatening to expose the scam the kickback developer has plans for many more providing incentive to bribe city officials
Purpose of mt? “build a more positive, respectful and communicative relationship”
1. Improving integration of 3rd/Univ into neighborhood.
a. Noise
b. Litter
c. Parking
2. Preventing or minimizing future Party Houses. Encourage city to better respect residents and environment quality-of-life.
Martin errors
1. Sneaking in a 6th bedroom after telling city 5 (or 4?)
2. Remove driveway on university, not replace curb. (City oversight?)
3. Not respect, consider neighborhood in design of parking, landscaping.
4. Not adequately supervising parking, noise, litter.
City errors
1. Change zoning - require input from residence (major zoning change) Should also have changed parking regulations?
2. Not catch 6th bedroom?
3. Not designate university neighborhood as special: parking and occupancy
4. Not require better parking. “Met code of 2 spaces.”
5. Not consider QoL neighborhood.
6. Not check on University curb.
7. Poor communication in era of easy comm. Pk signs, Rankin redo,
Seem to operate in reactionary mode.
Lack of initiative, problem solving, planning, citizen input.
Planning Dept: simply Code Enforcers, not plan, not anticipate
Where is Councilor? Seems to ignore constituents.
Bigger problem is lack of advocacy for residents and citizens. City loves to flout it’s flashy projects: new police building, convention center, tennis center. Things the average resident may not consider very important
The city hit on quite a reputation based on some other poorly thought out projects
1. 9th Street carnival obstacle course
2. Rankin speed bumps
3. 4th/Univ roundabout: 6 months? “a low priority.”
4. Parking on grass, Caldwell simply forwards email
5. 3rd St Party House
6. 4th St parking signs
7. Residential neighborhood church
Stephenson Park Master Plan
The City of Edmond is seeking community input for the development of the Stephenson Park Master Plan (“no comments, just info”) The area around the 3.1-acre park is experiencing new development and investment with proposed retail, restaurant, multifamily, and office space. As part of this progress, the city is looking to upgrade the historic park to better meet the needs of the community.
What are the needs of the community?
Picnic, music events, playground, sports, walking, gatherings
Suggestions
• Incorporate and enhance WPA rock structures:
Armory, Legion Hall, NW sign, NE gate wall, bridges
Entry sidewalk at NE stone gate
Entryway at NW stone sign
Gathering space at Legion Hall entry porch
• Not move rocket slide from its historic location, add fence if necessary
• Provide service vehicle access
• Larger, overflow stage seating
• Improve drainage in Cypress grove
• Sports courts: basketball, tennis, paddleball
• More seating
• Seating and tables by playground
• Keep existing large trees
Future: Get community input before spending money for an architectural plan
They’re not likely to get funded.
Car wreck on Rankin: It took 40 minutes for the police to arrive.

Dreams
Nightmare of hit & run: cops, jail, bye to house & Brooklyn.
Remembered that I turned down Broadway where the accident would’ve been and there was nothing there no debris no cop. So relieved, got up and ate, relaxed, back to sleep.
Knock on door early morning police officers caused a wreck so goodbye to my dog
Feeling good after lunch, took a risk thought I could cut in front of oncoming traffic car ahead of me made it through I thought there was room for me I didn’t judge the third lane and I had to get across the street loud hawk I went on shopping the gym Dom breaks later that night I relived that and realized the hawk may have been from a disabled car accident caused somebody hurt
• Pulling out onto 51 at I 35 in Stillwater at night.
• Pulling up the long left turn lane on 2nd street at Bryant.
• Cutting across traffic in front of Petsmart on Broadway.
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Or maybe I write about the vivid dream and attempting to contact her but chickening out or she cancels or something we never quite get together run into her somehow we compare dreams as old people and we hug
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Some contemporary art department building and a woman told me my assignment or something what is by a piece of design work - one of those was the Dolly Lama. I don’t know if that was the Dolly Lama or the llama by Salvador Dali. I was looking for it and finally asked some guy who told me it was on another floor and at the end of the building. I went to that floor but before I could find it I ran into another teacher and we got into a discussion about good and bad design. It was very exciting to have this discussion with someone else about design.
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Friday pm/Sat am, March 11/12, 2010
Got in line to eat, me and one other adult
Slow, went to other line, at steps. No que ropes. Got tabke, buffet food? Used microwave. On floor. Small. Tilt plate to get it in. Food spilled. After, gathered food by hand and scooped it out onto plate. Line waiting.
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Room in sep bldg. Walk by pool.
with a student group? at Disney?
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Flying over buildings,
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Broad slope of city ramping up to buildings
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mexican rest. Authentic, some people cut in front to cafet line. Then me. Get fruit chicken burrito and chick burrito. Small bitchy woman ahead of me asks for another burrito. Fat mex lady says no more. She says He got the last one, making a big deal of it. At end of line,i go back for something. Turn back to cashier - just an empty round plate. I look up and see woman running around corner. Cashier gone to refill drinks. I chase and get to her table, she had gone to restroom? I take my oval plate of two burritos and go back
Or i trip her as she's running to her table
Or i politely explain to cashier who gets the security guard to go get her.
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JC2.0
Car on 35
ABC Times Sq 7 miracles
Fear not

Miscellaneous
I just authorized the euthanasia of my dog, Dallas. I signed one form. Now I wonder - why is it socially acceptable and even encouraged that we euthanize our pets to end their suffering, yet it is illegal to show the same respect and consideration for our human friends? Is it because we are more sensitive to our pets needs? Is it partly because we don't compromise any religious values killing pets? I don't know, but this makes me more sympathetic to the cause of allowing terminally ill people to die with dignity at their own choosing. March 2006.
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Basically, I am a pacifist. I prefer not to kill. I'll even catch bugs and release them outside rather than squash them. I am opposed to the death penalty and to aborting fetuses. But, as much as I strive to love all creatures, I absolutely hate mosquitoes, yes - hate, detest, abhor. They are miserable little creatures. I enjoy killing them. I can't find any positive value to the planet from these damn things. I do not understand why Noah did not swat that one pair of mosquitoes when he had the chance and save all the rest of us from the misery of bites and malaria. Damn you, Noah. April 2006
I killed a huge animal with my car. It appeared so much bigger and menacing. After I hit it, I pulled over onto the shoulder of I-5 and got out. I was so upset over killing an animal that I swore I would never drive again - that's how I would prevent this from happening again. I then looked around. It was very dark and there were no lights from houses or other cars on the freeway. It was very late at night and I was in rural Central California. I felt foolish - well, of course, you'll have to drive again, you big lug. I reluctantly got back in the car and drove on. Killing an animal on the freeway is not a fun event.
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Showing the credits for a movie after the movie has begun is like putting a picture behind text in a print ad. Its annoying - if the director wants me to get into the picture, don't interrupt with stuff to read - stuff that I don't need or even want to read. And if the director wants me to read these credits, don't interrupt them with dialogue, visuals, or plot. I came to see a movie. Boosting the egos of the production crew and stars is useless. Let me just watch the movie. If I really care or want to know who the cinematographer, costume designer, or grip was, I'll sit through the credits at the end. March 2006.
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Just had a good workout. Drank a Starbucks Doubleshot energy drink and about to finish eating the last one of 5 Hi-Fiber bars (35% daily fiber per bar). Plan to have a very entertaining evening of projectile diarrhea. Maybe even get in some target practice.
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Marge Johnson at sixflags: movie Midnight Cowboy, hippie club near Knox McKinney: “where are you from?”
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My dog, Dallas, has arthritis. I accidentally called it arfritis and it made sense, so arthritis in dogs (quite common) could be called arfritis. March 2006.
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Do buildings burn down or do buildings burn up?
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I may have killed my mother
Routine, cross street
Never go home again.
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Peanut, don't kill me!
Colorado camping, road trip, Bill made Salisbury steaks,
Peanut galloped, reared up.
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Bitch camp
Junior High
Training curriculum
Sworn to secrecy
"Girls don't fart!"
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The notes of love will tinkle in your head.
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Kill AHS spirit ribbon, store in Northpark Center, Cashier points out AHHS (Arlington Heights High School)
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Ms Delaney’s choral music class:
Sir, France is bakin’
Sophomore 10th grade.
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Vollenweider concert
Mcfarlin exit thru row, hey buddy,
Kneel in aisle to explain and apologize. Guy catches me in lobby, tears
Takes me to hospital, mom died,
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Stuckeys
attacking studies
people trapped inside waiting out hard rainstorm
smoker
frantic mom
old couple
one by one they leave the Stuckey's, never to be seen again
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I stole a Schlotzky’s, South Congress.
I stole a picture from Doug's Gym.
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Roadkill
Raccoon in the road, semi truck coming, no way out. I knew the tires were going to get that raccoon and splatter guts. I couldn't get the window up fast enough.
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"Summer doesn't officially begin until I've had my Shack Dog” Joyce, June 2009
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Suicide drinks at SVCC, annoy the Coke Pepsi war - I drink both, half of each. Unique taste. Some stare, most are intrigued. Can't tell much difference. Coksi
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Mexican time
Presenting a lecture and workshop and later teaching at UPAEP Mexico.
Class at 6:30 (?) - students start arriving at 6:45 and the class is assembled by 7:00. I normally expect students to be punctual, meet deadlines, and appointment times. I couldn't count off here - it was their custom.
Took a break. Went to the union snack bar - got dinner. I was in the classroom waiting - usually breaks are about 10 minutes, maybe fifteen. I went searching. Found the class sitting in the union, laughing, talking. I joined them. Learned the new routine - slow down. Take it easy. I like it.
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Lowan B Wholed
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Mom and grandma (not to mention cousins uncles) can see me from the AfterLife
Barely get undressed in front of my mother. Getting a hard-on is tough. Froze up. Wife not happy.
Pastor: they're so busy in heaven, its not likely they're watching.
But they can
Well, yes, if they choose.
No help.
Therapy: all in mind, just beliefs. Make up a new heaven, or they can't watch, or not a Christian.
Therapy is expensive.
Decide to change my beliefs. So I can have sex again.
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Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, tales, and gibberish. Over the centuries, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successfully. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to the complex and technical subject of evolution." - Tom Welter
Those primitive 'people' were sincere but mistaken and sloppy in their research & transcribing and just thinking with the limited knowledge they had at their disposal.
Later, came lies by money-grubbers that had discovered a new way to market the "myths, tales and gibberish" to make a buck.
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Just had a good workout. Drank a Starbucks Doubleshot energy drink and about to finish eating the last Hi-Fiber bar (35% daily fiber per bar) from a box of five. Plan to have a very entertaining evening of projectile diarhea. Maybe even get in some target practice.
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T-shirt with metallic thread in the outline of them Lucy gun and a bomb going through security and they break out my brother Gunns I pick up my coat and it's just a T-shirt and they're baffled missing me back through brother guns
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If you believe that god is in control, then you must be consistent. You can't go and point fingers elsewhere when reality isn't in line with your idea of a loving sky daddy. Either he is controlling EVERYTHING that happens, and thus is a horrible being standing by and watching living creatures suffer, or he isn't in control and would love to intervene but can't. Because he is either powerful or his powers are limited.
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Emergency Teaching Certificate. I just had to verify that i was working towards certification each semester
AMHS: fac meetings, library
Opening day
Class finish early - now what? No prep for teaching.
Driving lessons, nigger, production set designs, marijuana
Satisfying - need for male role models, reward
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Sleighbells drifting in the open snow.
Arlington hotel: rearrange lobby
brgr: girls talking
Lucky number 4, Dealey field day
Lites go out: Wash 6, Disney
"Don't make us think."
Punctual: dad Elite Waco
Shake LBJ hand “Damn son, I've got my dick in my hand.”
Killer: Kinsolving, frat house
Rome: minimal room
Locked keys in LA pk groj,
Lost keys from luggage at DFW
Embarrass: Richland gym fart
Mormon Church with Seth: “I could fuck her eyes out.”
Kinsolving with Sarah: “Can I see your tits?”
Parking tickets, school zones
Playing volleyball with faculty in Wantland.
The crying times: the death of Conor, a student in Graphic Design I; the OKC bombing
Pets: hamster stories, pets as a kid: chameleon from Fair, ducks at Easter (dropped box on one), turtles
Dogs: pound, greyhounds
424 construct: plan from memory, fotos, cut door=dust!
Dealey: walked halls during PE, miss class - had to do situps by myself, farted each time, student holding my legs, we laughed.
Silovec Blojobovitch
Cereal with melted ice cream
Helping mount exhibits in the campus Museum of Art. Benches under art. Dinners at Wallo's.
Attending design conferences in New Orleans, New York City, Las Vegas.
Presenting a lecture and workshop and later teaching in Mexico.
Sharing the energy and inspiration of New York City with students.
Witnessing many corporate boards and clients applaud and cheer after a ClockTower presentation.
Performances in Mitchell Hall, Hair, plays, walk over Sunday matinee, CT programs
Emcee Parents Orient
Participating at OSU: football games, Homecoming judge.
Exploring Oklahoma: 1989 celebrations, Remington Park, Penn Square renovations, Route 66, Interurban, Tulsa, small towns and rural roads
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Signs in LA are like, “Oh, by the way, that was your exit.” Okay, I’m exaggerating, they don’t really say, “Oh, By the way.”
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Just had a good workout. Drank a Starbucks Doubleshot energy drink and about to finish eating the last Hi-Fiber bar (35% daily fiber per bar) from a box of five. Plan to have a very entertaining evening of projectile diarhea. Maybe even get in some target practice.

© James Robert Watson, PhD, 2019