Monday 7-11-16: The First Post

It started approximately 11 pm on a summertime Sunday night in semi-scenic central Indiana. Instead of beginning the 17 page term paper that’s due in five weeks or seeing just how many games the Cincinnati Reds are back in the National League Central Division race (hint: I’ve got a better chance of seeing a supermodel under the holiday tree then the Reds winning a World Series anytime soon, so it’s a lot), yours truly finally decided to do something that he had thought about many a time but never got around to actually taking care of: create a blog. I’ve generally been behind the times on a lot of things over the years. It took over a decade for me to return to school as opposed to working 50-60 hour weeks in dead end jobs. It took even longer for me to realize that family and faith come should come first in my life as opposed to what bar you’re hitting on Saturday or just how many times you picked up new gear or kicks at the local mall. Perhaps most of all it took me the longest to quit looking back at only the negatives during my past times in high school and first two stints in college (note: I’ve been at a lot of colleges over the years: consider it a hobby when single with no children) and actually take time to remember that there was actually some good times among the bad times, the mediocre times, and the first attempt to take Psych 101 in college freshman year. Like my sophomore year high school picture, the results were not pretty. That’s when I learned to not skip class just to watch the Winter Olympics. Though in fairness at the time bobsledding was much more interesting.Yes, I dreaded that class like I did trying to run sprints for junior high football practice. (See the second Instagram post and look for the short, fat long haired kid wearing number 57 to the far right. You’ll assume that individual isn’t winning any races other than going to the buffet line at Pizza Hut. You’ll assume right as that individual is me).

The result is finally joining social media this year by setting up an Instagram account to both chronicle and celebrate the 25th anniversary of finally making it out of high school and coming of age while leaving central Indiana and attending college number one. During this time the 18 year old me was able to do some things that the overweight and not very confident 14 year old version of myself would never have thought possible. They were things that I thought most people from the Sonland (my nickname for my alma mater of Noblesville High School) generally took for granted because while I was growing up it seemed like everyone from my area was scripted right out of a John Hughes movie that made the Sonland City (yes, my unoriginal name for Noblesville) the home base for icons that rocked the jet skis and the Guess jeans to go with their new sports cars and Ford Escorts. Things like talking to the opposite sex without said opposite sex getting repulsed at the sight of your presence. Or going out in public with said opposite sex. Or going to prom. (Note 2: if you read the short bio, you’ll get to see me doing another thing I should have done 25 years ago: set up a picture diary of said prom. Hey, I wasn’t fibbing when I tell people in my current Comparative Higher Education class that I have time management skills.) But the biggest thing of all was just trying to actually fit into a suburban school setting and trying to just look like a regular teenager. The previously posted Instagram photos show that I may not have been the modern day W. Axl Rose with my peers of the Sonland, but I at least had a chance to be a little more social before graduating and leaving the unhallowed halls that are now occupied by Ivy Tech Community College. Or at least I decided to quit eating two Little Caesars pizzas in one sitting after occupying space in junior high ‘A’ team football games. See said photos for proof as I made up for football ability with eating ability back then. No denying that.

Oh, back on topic: the other result is finally setting up this blog. I figured I needed a hobby that didn’t involve watching pro sports and college teams that regularly struggle every year (example: I actually follow Indiana University further explanation needed in my view) or studying for classes. And where this blog was set up for free, all the better for me. I am now a cheapskate. The days of only wanting fresh new Nike Airs from Foot Locker are long past. As I just bought a pair of late 80’s Nike Air Bo Jackson styled cross trainers nicknamed the “Medicine Balls” for roughly $20 on eBay (note 3: forgot I have one other hobby: collecting sneakers), I know the 18 year old me would look at the current me and say “Dude, you’re a cheap f###.’ Dude would be right.  And dude now has a blog.

For those still reading, thanks again. I’m both honored and impressed. And obviously long winded. Hence practice will make perfect.

The plan over the next few days, weeks, months etc. is to use the blog for a couple areas of discussion. One is to take the time to reminisce (and put off doing homework) by looking back at growing up and putting some more in-depth stories to some of the earlier Instagram posts I’ve done. Those should include my attempts to play sports (which obviously did not go well except for the time I won first place in the North Elementary ‘Hoop Shoot’ competition for our fifth grade class by successfully hitting the most layups  over a 30 second time frame, and the fact I just remembered that tells you how much of a sorry sack of s### I was as an athlete), the times I was actually able to be a mediocre high school level writer (I made the yearbook staff) and the times that I got PO’d and decided to lose some weight as opposed to getting regularly insulted every single time I walked into my high school. The latter helped keep me sane and out of the evening news programs. I plan on making to sure to acknowledge those great and caring individuals who helped me out the most with giving me the confidence to actually feel like a human being instead of being treated like the previously mentioned sack of s### by my so-called peers in frosh and sophomore honors classes. (Hint: scroll down to Steps 4, 5 and 6 of my ‘How to Actually Go to Prom With A Hot Chick’ diary in the first few rows of Instagram posts. Not coincidentally, they were women who didn’t run for the hills if I was in the same zip code that they were in.) They deserve a lot of credit for making me realize that there were in fact people who cared what I thought and could put up with me for being me. After being insulted and ridiculed for years by people who in Sonland vernacular were supposed to be my peers based off of mutual class schedule (example: I would rather have taken a Louisville Slugger to the back of my forehead every day than go to freshman honors English as I personally allowed the insults of others to make me feel like a combo of the Elephant Man and The Missing Link), I actually found that I could in fact have some self worth and self respect. That made the last two years of high school a lot more tolerable. Not epic, mind you, as  (paraphrasing Mick Foley) I still couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison if holding two handfuls of weekend passes. But at least I was going to school without saying to myself “How the !@#$@ am I going to make it through today without cussing someone out or wanting to guzzle some Liquid Drano?” Considering where I was at the ages of 14 and 15, those were mighty big steps.

Not surprisingly the plan will also include some recaps on being lucky enough to take a Hot Sonland Chick (my code term for good looking/gorgeous/beautiful female that attended Noblesville High the same time I did) to my senior prom. Being able to go to said prom with said Prom Date (aka Sarah Jane Fox, Sonland ’93)…….pretty big turning point for me. An even bigger turning point: taking her advice. Helped me out in many, many ways for college and beyond. I’ll be more than glad to recap that.

I’m also planning on covering one of the results of said Prom Date advice: pledging and initiating into a fraternity during my first year of undergrad. While I don’t exactly hit reunions at college alma mater number one (Transylvania University) I got to meet and associate with several wonderful people from both the school and the area who have been nice enough to follow me here on Instagram. The promise is that shout outs will be coming to all in due time. I figured that if I’m celebrating the 25th anniversary of graduation and prom then I’d better include said pledge ship and first year of undergrad as well. I’ve got plenty of memories from back then. Some of them are even suitable for print.

Lastly once fall and winter come around I’ll plan on throwing in some thoughts and views on how my sports teams of choice are doing at said moment of time. That includes the before mentioned sports teams at Indiana University; the previously mentioned Cincinnati Reds; pro football’s Indianapolis Colts (who tend to be the only area of television viewing for me in the fall when not doing said homework for said Indiana Tech program); and lastly the team that routinely finds ways to lose to worldwide superstars named Jordan, O’Neal and James….pro basketball’s Indiana Pacers. Don’t ask what I’d do if the Pacers did actually win the NBA World title one day; it could rival the one ‘Simpsons’ episode where Barney ends up on a bender that includes taking Homer’s car and getting it parked in New York City. The only thing Barney remembers from said spree: a guest lecture appearance at Villanova. Perish the thought of what I might do to celebrate if my local NBA team actually got the job done for once and brought home the World championship.  Multiple tattoos with the likeness of Paul George would not be out of the question. And I won’t even speculate where said tattoos would be at, either.

To end said first post and said attempt at blogging… per first post of the Instagram account is the senior award that my Sonland class voted for me a quarter century ago. The award: “Most Likely to Stay Single.” Coincidentally, I’m still single. Most of said classmates-providing they actually remember who I am, that is-probably aren’t too surprised about that prediction being true so far. But then again, neither am I. Par for the proverbial course.

Thanks again to those for taking a few moments to read this. And since I’m approaching 1,900 words with this current sentence, I’m both grateful and impressed for that.

Best wishes to all here (now) at 12:55 AM EST on Monday 7/11 and God Bless.

Jeff Fitzpatrick



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