10 Signs That You Were Born Before 1990

Ah, $1.99 a gallon.

10. Gas was $1.99 a gallon

9. What’s a cell phone?

8. Cartoons were just for Saturday morning

7. Infants were supposed to sleep on their stomachs

6. Tom Cruise was normal

5. Your microwave was the most high-tech device in your home

4. Big hair, big hair, BIG HAIR

3. Stamps cost 15 cents

2. Bad was good

1. The dinner table was used for family dinner — every night

I remember in late 1989 thinking about what 1990 would bring. For me it meant graduating from eighth grade (I know, my school was weird), going away to boarding school, turning 14, and hopefully going to a Milli Vanilli concert. And while I remember bits and pieces of the 1980s, I essentially grew up in the nineties, with Beverly Hills 90210 and the Taco Bell dog, not to mention the Zack Morris phone. But when I think back on that time before the year 1990 hit, I do recall all of those items on my above list, some rather fondly and others in massive disbelief that they aren’t still around (15 cent stamps, anyone?).

Sam

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“I Want to Quit the Gym!”

My nemesis.

The gym is not my friend. I mean, I subscribed to a gym a long time ago, and like about a zillion other people, I hardly ever went. I’m not even sure why I subscribed. Maybe it was that gruff guy who came to my job and convinced me I was a slob who carried around extra weight, and couldn’t I do better? So I spent half a paycheck to sign up — “What a deal!” — and they hooked me up with a personal trainer, a woman named Jennifer who was built like a tank. I was afraid. I was very afraid.

First off, it took me about a month to eventually end up at the gym. Part of the time away was my first look at Jennifer on the day I signed up, but the other part was hidden deep down in my psyche, in depths I wasn’t willing to plumb at the time. It had been easier to just go home after work and play video games instead, a sedentary lifestyle indeed, but one that I enjoyed. Until one morning I took off my shirt to get into the shower and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror above the sink. Uh oh. Those love handles were staring back at me.

So, I finally got my ass to the gym. Continue reading ““I Want to Quit the Gym!””

The Cross Bleeds Red

The cross bleeds red
Crimson, ruby, and cardinal
A deep and primordial hue
That transfixes in its gaze
Turning water into wine
Drunk on its own demanding
Yet always wanting more
It’s painful to the touch
Like softened wax it slides
Burning bright as the sun
Imperial, Spanish, and cherry
Carved into damask wood
Names, dates, and times
The gratitude of years
Washing away in flood
At a high-fixed tide
Red as ceremonial robes
Left at roadside’s edge
To drain into the gutter
And purify my heart’s soul

The cross bleeds red
As intimate as sin
And is cleansed.

Sam

That’s So Gay

Student: That’s so gay.
Me: I don’t think that’s what you mean.
Student: Uh, yeah, I mean it.
Me: Gay? Really?
Student: See, this guy was hitting on this other guy.
Me: Well, then I guess that would be gay.

When I was in high school, there were several things the cool kids (and sometimes even the not so cool kids) would say recurringly to demean me. They would call me four eyes, which was okay because I wore glasses. They would call me Urkel, because I reminded them of that nerdy character from TV. I admit I did look somewhat like him. And they would call me gay. I never quite understood that one, though. Continue reading “That’s So Gay”

Summer Daze

That summer sun…

It’s been one of those weekends. You know the kind, where parts of it feel like they’ve been whisked away on angel’s wings and the other portions drag on like high school math class. And now that it’s close to its inevitable end it seems to be picking up speed again, rolling downhill like a snowball getting larger until it hits you in the face.

And I love this time of year, when the daylight stretches on forever, when six o’clock at night feels just like six o’clock in the morning, and when the kids come in from swimming with their hair soaking wet and their multi-colored towels wrapped tightly around them so they look like they’re in little cocoons. They’re my little caterpillars waiting to sprout wings and be butterflies.

The air outside is getting a little cooler in the mornings, and the morning dew a wee bit frostier too. But when the heat comes in the mid-morning it hits hard, searing and immediate, the humidity rolling off me in waves. Beads of sweat also roll off me in waves. Then the rain comes down, a cooling shower that cleanses the earth and catches me unaware. I run to grab the clothes off the line in the backyard, and frantically detach sweaters, shirts, pants, and towels from their pins, tossing them into the basket and running again.

A thin sheet is over my legs at night, but it more often than not gets twisted up and under my legs by midnight. I toss and turn, but a dreamless sleep for the most part comes over me. Morning always comes too soon, and I do it all over again. Until the days begin getting shorter. Until six o’clock in the morning begins to differentiate itself from six o’clock at night. And warmth gives way to coolness of home and hearth.

But for now, I will simply enjoy the end of this weekend and the beginning of forever.

Sam

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