5-26-18: School Shooting In My Hometown: The Fearful Friday at Noblesville West Middle School

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Gathering commences after a Friday morning shooting at Noblesville West Middle School. Photo courtesy of WTHR-13 in Indianapolis.

 

Yesterday my hometown of Noblesville, Indiana made the national news. However the reasons for the news was due to events that neither myself nor many others would have expected.

As per this link from Indianapolis TV’s Fox 59 there was a shooting Friday morning at Noblesville West Middle School involving where two students and one teacher were injured via gunfire from a seventh grade student.  The result included those at the middle school being evacuated to the high school and said high school being threatened and put on lockdown. Just typing that stuff makes me shake my head because the shooting happened at the school that is across the street from my aunt’s subdivision. Plus the days of just figuring stuff like that wouldn’t happen in a place like Noblesville are now null and void with me. After yesterday I know an incident like that can happen anytime and any place.

Prayers to all involved and impacted from yesterday’s events. Also shout-out to the heroic efforts of teacher Jason Seaman and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Still shaking my head over this. Best to end the post via news photos taken yesterday because they can do a hell of a lot more conveying the emotions of yesterday’s events then I can:

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Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

 

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4-26-18: 80’s Movie of the Week: Biloxi Blues

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Christopher Walken prepares Matthew Broderick and company for combat in Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues (1988)

Back with another Reaganomics era film review before class tonight……

THE FILM: Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues

THE YEAR:  1988

THE STARS: Popular man of the 80’s Matthew Broderick headlines with popular Saturday Night Live mainstay of any decade Christopher Walken and popular with me in any decade Penelope Ann Miller Former NBC sitcom belle Park Overall (Empty Nest) also dominates for a few minutes as the lady who gets the honor of officially being “the first” for Broderick’s character. Good for Broderick. Perhaps not so good signs for my high school social life when I remember watching Empty Nest on Saturday nights. After also remembering that the dude who played Joe Isuzu in those car commercials was also on said NBC show, probably best to move on.

THE PLOT:  Based on Simon’s own time doing basic training in World War II,  young Broderick’s Jerome character heads south to meet up with a man named Epstein (played by a dude named Corey Parker whom I’ve never heard about since) and gets to deal with a hard-ass sergeant (Walken) who makes life miserable while providing the soundboard for Broderick’s 80’s approved comedy.  One hour and 46 minutes of said antics follows.

THE FIRST: Overall’s role in providing big band era Broderick a good time (all while Broderick rocks the combat boots) wasn’t the only first that came from this movie. Despite the fact that the man provides comedy in movies and TV alike, this was the first time I had ever seen a movie featuring one Christopher Walken. To show how things don’t always sink in right away, while at college number one (Transylvania University) yours truly went to see Wayne’s World at the dollar movies (admittedly one of the best things about being in Lexington, Kentucky at the time when you’re as cheap as I am) and did not realize that Wayne’s competition for the eternally hot Tia Carrere was none other than good old Walken. Finally figured it out a few years and few schools later. Good for me. Sure Walken will appreciate the dap.

FITZTHOUGHTS AND MEMORIES OF SAID FDR ERA FILM:  Yours truly remembers going with classmate and neighbor King Shane Booker to see this film at the General Cinema theater inside Castleton Square Mall one weekend night in April 1988 (same location as where we went to see the subject of last week’s movie review) and being entertained by Broderick being Broderick. As dude was in the midst of being a star thanks to one of my favorite John Hughes 80’s vehicles,  we knew who dude was and figured why the f— not despite not giving two s—s who Neil Simon was. One of the best comedies I had ever seen at the time as I laughed at pretty much everything that was on screen. While I probably won’t be able to distinguish Neil Simon from his fellow New York approved bros Simon and Garfunkel, I also will gladly throw this film out as the one movie of his that I would watch with no second thoughts or complaints. It’s also one of the films I most often remember from the Sonland High era as being worth the time and money to see. Makes it easy for yours truly to give it a 4 out of 4 rating on the Fitzthoughtsblog scale.

Thanks to any and all for reading this as yours truly now prepares for an evening of class. Hope to have another one of these next week if the term paper schedule permits it.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-13-18: 80’s Movie of the Week: Can’t Buy Me Love

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Patrick Dempsey and the future Rube Baker of the Cleveland Indians join others rocking the 80’s fashions in Can’t Buy Me Love (1987).

 

Back with another film from the decade of New Coke and Rubik’s Cubes…..

THE FILM:  Can’t Buy Me Love

THE YEAR:  1987

THE STARS:  The standout names are Patrick Dempsey in his first major starring role prior to his Grey’s Anatomy fame that was nearly two decades away; the late Amanda Peterson (who passed away in 2015); and of course none other than Entourage instigating icon Seth Green as Dempsey’s on and off again sidekick in the film. After that I had to do some digging to realize that the pink bow-tied guy in the above photo was the dude who played the rookie catcher in Major League II  so one learns something new every day. I’ll assume the payroll wasn’t too high for this one.

THE PLOT:  Dempsey is high school dude no one gives two f—-s about other than Green and a few of his fellow non-popular friends; Peterson is high school hot chick and as most popular chick is obviously in a different orbit from the likes of said Dempsey and Green because 1980’s U.S. high schools are like real life- full of cliques and general everyday b—s—t.  And of course while both might as well be on different planets….of course they’re next door neighbors to each other.  Reminds me of the Sonland High days where I had a hot chick that was popular as my neighbor, one Cortnea Lammers. (Not surprisingly, I once wrote about that.) I remembered Dempsey has a cool $1000 in his pocket; until looking back online for this I did NOT remember that Peterson has ruined an expensive $1000 suit of her mother’s at a party by getting wine spilled on it. (Of course it’s wine- it’s the 80’s so no cheap stuff.) Hence the awkward not-cool Dempsey rises to the occasion and proposes the deal to Peterson: be my girlfriend at school for x amount of time and you’ll get my $1000 to take care of the suit situation. Peterson accepts. Plot established and usual chicanery follows.

THEMES AND TIDBITS:  I always remember bits and pieces of this film……like one of Peterson’s co-hot chicks noting Dempsey goes ‘from ultra geek to ultra sheik’ by supposedly dating Peterson…..and then saying the exact opposite after Dempsey gets thrown to the proverbial wolves when Peterson reveals the scheme to everyone and makes Dempsey an outcast until he wins everyone back on his side in the end because 80’s movie.  There’s the theme song by the Fab Four in the intro as Dempsey mows said lawn.  And there’s the apparently annual prank played by future catcher in Major League II where he and his boys throw dog s–t at Green’s house each year….and Dempsey gets to be a part of said scam as a part of the YOU TURN BACK ON TRUE FRIENDS sub-plot of the story. But most of all I remembered Peterson being a hot chick….and not doing much of anything of note when it came to the acting thing after said movie was done.  Her Wikipedia page lists no movie appearances after 1994 so that kind of confirmed that.

Also did not know before this blog post that the film was originally going to be called Boy Rents Girl or was the inspiration for a 2003 movie starring one Nick Cannon.  Also forgot until re-reading Wiki that our pal Peterson is supposedly dating dude who was at the University of Iowa…..so I assume that individual wanted a complete change of scenery for his college years or screenwriters said ‘screw it, he’ll go to Iowa.’ So it was. (For a spoiler, college location of obscure mate mattered not a damn bit for the movie’s eventual 80’s approved happy ending.)

FITZTHOUGHTS ON SAID PATRICK DEMPSEY FILM: Back when they would always list the Top 20 video rentals, this film was always on it. Peterson looked like someone I would want to date in high school who I would never be able to date since I was five foot five and 200 plus pounds at the time…..so of course I said ‘yeah, I’ll rent the movie.’ Since I was a Beatles fan, I of course like the intro….and then as I watched the film it was like ‘yeah, this Dempsey’s like me if I was 100 pounds lighter and $1000 richer’ and so I finished the whole film and enjoyed it enough to where I always end up thinking about it whenever the media lectures about Grey’s Anatomy or when I hear Dempsey’s name mentioned.  And hence it ended up being one of those I thought of when it came to the 80’s and high school.

I don’t know if I’d have paid full price to see it in the theaters, but it was perfectly acceptable entertainment for a night with the VCR back in the year that where Michael Dukakis was touted as our next Chief Executive. So no complaints as I follow my previous scale  and give it a 3 out of 4 rating.

Hope to have another one of these next week with time permitting due to having my next paper due for school…..thanks to all who may read this and have a good weekend.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog 

 

 

3-28-18: Midweek Musings

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Donald Sutherland then (as Jennings in 1978’s Animal House) and now. Yep, it’s been that long.

 

Random mid-week Fitzthoughts and happenings on a Wednesday evening…..

-no complaints thus far on school as I got an A on last week’s assignment while still having paper to work on that’s due Saturday. Hence we have my Thursday night already planned to write said paper in order to watch Final Four basketball this weekend.

-finally figured out why things have been quieter in Sonland City (aka Noblesville) in recent days: Spring Break. No complaints there as it has meant less traffic to and from the gig and also quieter surroundings to type blog posts such as this. Nowadays I enjoy the peace and quiet along with the extra free time that comes with no longer driving 2 to 2 1/2 hours round trip each day. In fact I actually enjoy living in Sonland City now as an adult which was the exact opposite of when I was growing up and wanting to GTFO every single minute of the day. Getting out of sh—y school environments tends to help; so does growing up.

For me it comes down to timing when it comes to dealing with a hometown that has tripled in size since my childhood. Basically if I need to get s–t done I know to avoid State Road 37 and the Castleton Square Mall area as much as possible while watching the wallet and saying ‘going to Kroger‘ as opposed to ‘going to get a keg’ when it’s dinner time. Plus I finally figured out that coupons are kind of important when having a budget; only took three decades to figure that out but better late than ever.

To end siderant…..during said childhood I often allowed myself to feel like a P.O.S. because I did not live in a certain subdivision nor did not have a family member work in a certain building as everyone else’s family apparently did. Today I now work in said building and now shake my head about how it used to be growing up and believing all that s–t about how iconic one was because they lived x amount of yards from Morse Reservoir. Between that and no longer dealing with 300 N. 17th Street in Sonland City (save for last summer when I had to get a school assignment done about community college administration as it is now the current home of the local Ivy Tech campus ), it’s been much more enjoyable to live around these parts. Three decades and maturing (well, somewhat maturing) have helped.

-of course someone just let out a nice belch here at the library while dude beside me uses his cell phone. Safe to say they’re relaxed as well as bloated in these parts as another dude’s 1990’s AOL ‘You Got Mail’ themed text message warning blasts from said dude’s phone. Which reminds me of how I do not miss AOL too much. (Speaking of which, sound went off again. And AGAIN. Will assume dude is hard of hearing and move on.)

-Looks like us few remaining Cincinnati Reds fans will have to wait an extra day to see Homer Bailey try to lose the team’s Opening Day game against Washington.  May be able to watch the last half of the game on Friday while of course not expecting much because it’s the Reds and seemingly manager-for-life Bryan Price.  Insert head shake.

-continuing on takes from earlier in the week, looks like the asking price for Giants wide receiver deluxe Odell Beckham Jr. via trade will be a costly one.  Local NFL fans will be thrilled to know that the Sporting News considers the Circle City as a viable option for young Beckham. As always, your move, Diamond Jim Irsay.

-forgot to note on Monday that I had another pair of shoes to add to the sneaker collection courtesy of the Nike T-Lite series that I used to get for $29.99 plus tax at Kohl’s; they’re among the best shoes I’ve ever worn and great for walking. Price for the new pair was just $28.00 courtesy of eBay. And speaking of Diamond Jim….also won the auction for new Air Diamond Turfs yesterday, so those are now on the way as well. Good to have a hobby that I enjoy, so obligatory shout out to Young Adams for his influence in the days of yesteryear when talking Air Jordans and K-Swiss.

-as if I can’t avoid my Sonland past at all, the Young Adams link led me to this photo of the 1987 Indiana state champion Noblesville Lady Millers basketball squad.  Cousin of yours truly Jennifer Alexander (then Sigman) sports #25 and is second from the end on the right; former next door neighbor Kris Lammers is on the far left donning #30.  Plus as mentioned in past blog posts I got to know the rock star wearing #11 better in later years.

Good place to stop as dude beside me gets himself locked out of his computer for the second time. Also a good reminder I need to hit Kroger on the way home as much as I need to hit the books tomorrow to wrap up said paper. Will see if I follow through on that.

Happy Wednesday to any and all who read these as I end with an obligatory GIF of John Belushi as Bluto in Animal House:

 

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Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

 

3-12-18: Monday Musings

Another post, another caption featuring Will Ferrell. Old School photo courtesy of basementrejects.com

 

The week begins with yet another class assignment due Wednesday and the NCAA’s March Madness beginning tomorrow night to watch in the midst of completing said assignment. As the title states, some Monday musings:

-The Cincinnati Reds actually had a spring training game televised yesterday on the MLB Network.….so of course I walked the dog. Meanwhile another pair of starting pitchers get hurt and I simply shake my head.

-The Indiana Pacers overcame Thaddeus Charles Young still being relatively worthless by beating a quality team on the road last night via a 99-97 win over Boston. While I am not exactly watching every single minute of their current season, the plan is to repeat last year’s strategy by watching their playoff games in full to see what they need to improve (i.e. getting rid of Young and Corey Joseph) while seeing if the team’s standard bearers Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner are actually worth building around. Still not sold on Oladipo for obvious reasons but again not my worry since I’m thankfully not like Kevin Pritchard in expecting big things from this current Pacers squad. Personally I’ll be satisfied with winning one single playoff series, and to do that I suggest they finish no lower than fifth in the NBA Eastern Conference regular season standings. Meanwhile I eagerly await this overpaid individual to leave the squad as said individual would be on the books for $10 million next year if Pritchard feels Turner still needs an expensive mentor on the sidelines to do whatever the blue f— said individual does to deserve such lettuce.

I’ll give the Pacers this: I was figuring they would be on the way to a 50 loss season, so might as well enjoy another playoff appearance while hoping this ESPN favorite finally goes somewhere else outside of the NBA East. As for Pritchard, I assume he and Oladipo get along swell as Oladipo enjoys massive bank in return for getting down in the Circle City. And at least Pritchard isn’t one of these two gentlemen who pissed away multiple chances to win the NBA title…..so there’s that.

-found I could hit snooze a dozen times or so and still make it to work on time today. Wouldn’t recommend it, but if one only has a 10-15 minute commute to said gig then one can take a chance.

-your newest WWE Hall of Famer played a concert at the last Indy 500 Carb Day that I attended. Looking back it was TEN YEARS ago….sounds about right. More props to me for actually remembering the occasion to begin with.

-finally winding things up with a GIF featuring the baller who won the NBA slam dunk contest in the midst of my senior year at Sonland High, one Dee Brown:

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Those Reebok Pumps are among my favorites, hence they’re proudly in the sneaker collection courtesy of our pals at eBay from, yes, ten years ago. Shows I had a lot more disposable income before I went back to school. Insert head shake.

Back with more later in the week, thanks to any and all who may read these Fitzthoughts.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

3-4-18: Weekend Update

Another year, another Big 10 tourney loss for Indiana University basketball. Photo per Asbury Park Press

Twenty page paper was finished yesterday afternoon, results to follow in next two days. With a week off from classes some news and notes:

-not surprisingly Little Archie Miller’s Indiana Hoosiers men’s hoops team found a way to lose to Rutgers-as in the Rutgers with NO postseason appearances of any kind since 2006-in their Big 10 tournament opener Thursday night 76-69.  According to this current as of this writing USA Today link said Little Archie is the TENTH highest paid college basketball coach in the land. A 16-15 record is not exactly getting your money’s worth out of said deal, yet the Indiana administration doesn’t really give a s–t about having mediocre sports teams every year and the athletic department is ran by this individual….hence I’m not expecting too much for, oh, ever. Not like I should be surprised.

-to show just how things have changed due to going back to school,  a Sonland High sectional tournament basketball game took place while I was making my last blog post.  The result-an opening round loss-only seemed fitting considering these mid-season happenings.    

-Upped the sneaker collection as new Nike Air Way Ups are in the mail and should be here in the next couple of days. Yes, I lead an exciting life.

-Props to Penn Station as I will be using a 2 for 1 coupon this week courtesy of their yearly slot game for email subscribers. Saves me approximately $6.50 which will come in handy after spending $48 on family dinner yesterday at the previously referenced local Perkins. 

-Lastly wrapping things up for the night with a GIF of current favorite Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson from the team’s run of back-to-back NBA Eastern Conference finals appearances from a few years ago:

Best wishes to all for a good week and to me for an A in the class. Stay tuned.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

 

2-19-18: The First Post in Six Months

Yes, I’m as surprised as the Deltas that I finally got around to posting again. Onward we go.

Monday morning with a rare day off. Might as well ramble as I just finished the rough draft for my paper due on Saturday. (Coincidentally, I did the same thing around this time last year too. Not coincidentally, I’m still single. Shock, I know.)

So what’s been going on for the last six months? Among other things I have sold a house….bought another….had several 50 plus hour workweeks…..seen the local NFL team have an apparently broken quarterback while finally saying goodbye to Chuck Pagano after finishing with a crappy 4-12 record without said apparently broken quarterback …..then seeing the local NFL team’s front office botch a head coaching hire before bringing back a former assistant whose team just won the Super Bowl in a game that I enjoyed despite the presence of Al Michaels and a horribly inept Cris Collinsworth in the broadcast booth. (Should have taken my own advice from previous babblings: use the mute button, that’s why it’s there.) So besides having a lot of takes to hyperlink Sports Illustrated articles to, I’ve also seen a lot of inept Indianapolis Colts football. Also shows you why the locals around here kind of idolize one Peyton Manning from time to time because he usually won football games more than he lost them. Can’t say the same about this current crop of men employed by Diamond Jim Irsay and the thus far underwhelming front office replacement for “Big Grig” Ryan Grigson, one Chris Ballard. 

Hopefully Ballard and new coach Frank Reich will actually win some games next year and not employ the likes of Scott Tolzien on the 2018 roster. One can dare to dream, after all.

As for other comings and goings…..

-per family request (and also per needing to sell a house) I took some time off from school for the fall semester. Worked out well. Instead of returning from work to write papers every week, yours truly actually started doing something I haven’t done for years: read for fun. (I also went to a NCAA Division III basketball game for alma mater number four Anderson University and saw them win. Total cost: $11. Will need to talk about more next time.) Thanks to the local library (after all, I’m still a cheapskate) I was able to finally check out some books that I had been wanting to read but never got around to because I was writing 10-17 page papers for the fun of using them to write even more 10-17 page papers. Since there’s a good chance we’ll have a new party ruling Congress by the time I post again, here’s a few of the books I’d recommend (along with captioned photos):

Life by Keith Richards and James Fox (2010)

I first knew the Rolling Stones courtesy of their videos from their their 1981 Tattoo You album as the likes of MTV VJ’s Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood would note that these middle aged dudes from England had been dominate in the rock and roll world since the early days of the British Invasion. While I got to see a lot of subsequent videos from both the Stones and lead singer Mick Jagger himself during the course of the decade and my years at the Sonland otherwise known as Noblesville High School (which reminds me of Chad Mitchell apparently plucking down $80 for a Stones Steel Wheels North American tour sweatshirt via their Indianapolis concert appearances during Sonland Junior Year and thus seeing Mitchell wear said sweatshirt with matching red doo-rag on queue once a week for the remainder of his Sonland days) I didn’t really know too much about Richards other than reading about his past drug issues. So one day I decided I might as well read about this individual who in recent years has played pirates in Johnny Depp movies while surprising many simply by still breathing. Turned out to be a pretty darn good book. Not many people can write about hanging out with the likes of Bob Dylan and John Lennon with the casualness of me writing about prom dates (which I hope to finally summarize once the decade ends) but Richards does it well and with a good bit of added comedy (for example he notes the antics of popular blog photo op man John Belushi by stating that Belushi “was an extreme experience even in my standards.” ) Simply put, Richards would certainly know. And to his credit he produces one of the best autobiographies I have ever read, period.

You’ll also get to see photos like this one:

Legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards on tour in the early 1970s with the evening’s beverages. Sir Michael Philip Jagger sings in the background. Courtesy of Life.

So if I read about Richards, the late Ray Charles can see whose biography I’m going to write about next:

Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue by Marc Spitz (2011)

One major problem with this book: Spitz has a gimmick where he says (get ready for all caps for this) ME PICK SOMEONE NOT JAGGER-ME WRITE ABOUT SOMEONE WHOLE CHAPTER-NOW ME CLOSE CHAPTER ABOUT JAGGER. Perhaps Spitz was trying to be different, but to be blunt I don’t give two s–ts about what Truman Capote wrote about in the 1950’s (those are words I don’t plan on ever typing again) nor do I want to hear about the marriage issues between Carly Simon and James Taylor. However Spitz does just that with a flourish, and since it’s his book it’s up to you as the reader to decide whether you want to put up with it or not. Fortunately for me since the book was free for three weeks and since I once again admit that I have the social life of a small inland shrew… I put up with it since the book was a quick read (roughly 300 pages) and again you get to see photos like this:

The man who would be Sir Michael Philip Jagger having a 30th birthday party with Keef, longtime media legend Bob Dylan and pals. Courtesy of Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue.

I didn’t just read about the lives and legacies of The Glimmer Twins. Two other books of note:

The Machine by Joe Posnanski  (2010)

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The starting lineup (aka Great Eight) of the 1975 and 1976 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds.

 

Posnanski is one of my favorite sportswriters. For better or for worse (and as written previously on this blog it has often been for worse) I am a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan. There was a time-albeit in the midst of the Ford Administration- that the Reds were actually not inept; in fact during the mid-1970’s said Reds were the best team in baseball known as “The Big Red Machine” because good teams don’t give the equal of year-to-year contracts to bad managers who finish in last place every year (which the current Reds regime did last fall). Posnanski gets the job done like rapper extraordinaire Big Daddy Kane as he notes the pressures the pressures the Reds had of actually fulfilling their previously wasted potential by winning back to back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976 after failing previously to capture baseball’s world championship in their 1970 and 1972 Series appearances. I also felt Posnanski was fair in his assessment of one of my all time sports heroes, one Peter Edward Rose.  That doesn’t happen too often when it comes to media members, so yours truly gives props to Posnanski for not being biased while publicly babbling for the days of Nolan Ryan and multi-purpose stadiums to come back to a sport that is not the cathedral or religious like presence some sportswriters tend to treat it like.

Lastly…..

Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton by Jeff Pearlman (2011)

Growing up this man was my sports hero who made me a lifelong fan of the NFL. Being portrayed as human in a 2011 biography won’t change that.

When I was in elementary school the Indianapolis metro area did not have a clusterf–k of a pro football team to call its own until the Colts moved from Baltimore during the spring of my fifth grade year in 1984. Before being subjected to the likes of Mike Pagel and Jack Trudeau losing game after game in the pre-Manning era, I had the good fortune to enjoy fall Sunday afternoons as the times to watch Walter Payton and his Chicago Bears on television. Ironically the Bears were not good until said 1984 when they would reach the NFC title game (losing to San Francisco)…but we know what happened with 1985 as the Bears would win their only Super Bowl as Payton would retire in 1987 as the NFL’s then all-time leading rusher. Bottom line was as the Colts were as inept then as they are now, first Payton and then the Bears themselves made watching NFL football worthwhile when I was growing up. Payton was a big part of my childhood, and Pearlman notes the good and the bad via the physical price Payton paid for playing through injuries throughout his long and illustrious Hall of Fame career. I enjoyed the book and will remain a fan of both Payton and Pearlman’s writing. For a link to those who weren’t as thrilled with Pearlman’s work, see here.

Even got me to do something I have also long babbled about doing but never got around to: getting a Walter Payton jersey. So if you see someone at the Hamilton East Public Libary sporting one this summer while writing ten page school papers on one of the public computers, you’ve been forewarned.

Good time to wrap it up. Happy 2018 to everyone as I also wrap up the Chuck Pagano era of Colts football by throwing out the obligatory Pagano clapping gif:

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Your turn, Frank Reich.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

8-7-17: The Prom Date

Pre-prom photo with none other than The Prom Date herself, one Sarah Jane Fox.

 

So, it’s about time I wrote about The Prom Date.

With my term paper for this current class due this coming weekend (I was at the library Sunday getting no less than 20 sources for it) and me having babbled enough about how I was going to eventually recap said prom for the past year’s worth of blog posts, it’s a good time to talk about what turned out to be a pretty important event in my life. While I had previously talked about on the @fitzthoughts Instagram account but not gone into too much detail on other than showing some photos and saying ‘we went there for dinner’ and ‘we went to downtown Indianapolis for prom’…..figured no time like now to recap said senior prom. After all one can only write so many PhD program papers.

And considering said prom night with said Prom Date almost didn’t happen in the first place, quite frankly I was lucky just to be able to have said prom to write about to begin with. So time to cut through the s–t and talk about the evening where I realized that even though I had made a lot of progress during 18 years of living in a city I detested at the time-the much referenced Sonland City of Noblesville, Indiana, home of the Sonland aka Noblesville High School – there was still a hell of a lot of work for me to do and places to see (and go to college at) before I finally found some true satisfaction and happiness in my life.

The turning point of doing so came that second weekend of May 1991 as my senior year at said Sonland High was drawing to a close and several weeks of ups and downs came to fruition with me ending up in some fancy downtown Indianapolis ballroom being told point blank that for all the personal growth I had previously recapped on this very blog-including dropping 60 pounds in two years and overcoming bullying and depression to occasionally hang out with good looking women and Homecoming Queens-nonetheless the trip wasn’t coming to an end for me….in fact thanks to said Prom Date it was about ready to being in earnest.

Never really got to truly thank said Prom Date for what she did, so consider this recap a way of doing so even if it’s a few years and five U.S. Presidents after the fact.

And now, #!%!$ finally, said recap:

As mentioned before in previous posts I was in true GTFO mode that senior year. While I had enjoyed a pretty good summer before my senior year, I found that I wasn’t having as good a time as I felt I should be having during the actual senior year itself, especially when dealing with the opposite sex. Bottom line was any confidence I gained from the previous year or so had gone down the proverbial sh-tter because my overall dating record for senior year was the equal of Ryan Grigson’s free agency signings when he was Indianapolis Colts general manager…..and since Grigson now works for the not ready for prime time Cleveland Browns, for a favorite reference the late Ray Charles can see how bad said record in fact was.

Among the lowlights before dealing with said Prom Date were:

-getting stood up for my own Homecoming Dance by one Aimee Allison which of course led to the comedy of going to 1st hour English Literature class that Monday and having Todd Burkhalter and the late Jared Blassius make sure to ask how said Homecoming went (the answer: I saved money and in a huge surprise never talked to Allison again, while in turn I apparently handled the trash talk well enough to write a paper for Burkhalter’s senior comp class during the midst of said 1st hour class because, well, it helped keep me awake).

-having a date set up with a girl in one of my second semester classes…only for her wanting me to meet at her workplace in order for her to publicly break said date. Since the workplace was none other than the Noblesville Burger King and this all took place while Barb Leeman from my yearbook class observed first hand while she waited to place her order, one can only imagine that I enjoyed being part of said experience.  On the contrary, thanks to said incident quite frankly both options of the Peace Corps and the priesthood were looking better by the millisecond.

-and of course one time where I had a date ACTUALLY take place…..I roll out to the horse farm on State Road 19 between Noblesville and Cicero to pick up sophomore Jenny Padgett (who for irony’s sake was in the same Spanish class as the soon to be much mentioned Prom Date) for a Sunday movie matinee at Glendale featuring none other than future Family Guy star James Woods in the supposed comedy The Hard Way.  Hard to forget a time where you like someone and when you’re driving them to said movie you get the honor of hearing the first words out of her mouth be “YOU KNOW WE’RE JUST GOING AS FRIENDS, RIGHT?” 

My response: “I do now.

Fortunately, again it was a matinee with dinner at the Allisonville Road Subway located in Fishers on the way home.  So if you’re told that you’re only going as friends, best that your wallet doesn’t take too much of a hit.

…and thus my GTFO countdown was in full effect as there were no thoughts of future fraternity formals and sorority women but only thoughts of ’45 days to GTFO of Noblesville….44 days to….’ and so forth. College couldn’t be any worse than this. Nor could the Congo for that #!$% manner.

So of course in the midst of all this, none other than our previously mentioned pal Number 10-himself beginning his journey to manhood via a romance with the also previously referenced Tara Lynn Walczak (TLW for future references) set up in part by, yes, yours truly-one day in the midst of his insults and third-grade level humor announced that he was taking said TLW to prom (seniors could go with sophomores and vice versa as the Sonland’s junior class was traditionally the sponsoring group that had to organize the event in full)…and he decided in part that I needed to go as well. (As mentioned earlier, this was more than likely so someone could be there to make sure dude could get to the actual prom location since dude would have had trouble finding his own driveway without map and compass…as shown when he got lost going to Kings Island later on that prom weekend. In other words dude wasn’t hitting the Ivy League scholarship circuit.) Which meant that apparently the family of Number 10-our also previously mentioned pals Cliff and Mrs. Cliff-were in approval of me being guide dog/sidekick/Gilligan and figured that I needed to be involved even though as shown by the previous three bullet points I was not actually highlighting the date on said calendar (May 11, 1991 to be exact, showing that of course things changed)….and hence while it would be nice to go as a way to celebrate dropping weight/being a senior/winning the Gulf War and all that, I wasn’t exactly a fan of getting stood up for school functions. So of course you had this (paraphrasing) conversation take place:

“I’m taking Tara to prom.”

“Good for you, Number 10, good for you.”

“You’re going too.”

“Alright (smirk as I remember Aimee Allison and figure LIKE F— I AM)”

“..and we’re NOT taking your car (the before mentioned 1977 Buick Electra).”

“…no s—t, Sherlock.”

With this legendary handling of vocabulary now immortalized forever, yours truly humored the gent whom I also nicknamed The Diabolical C Squared by making a list of potential dates for said occasion because of the I’M NOT RIDING WITH HER or I WON’T BE SEEN WITH HER or TARA NO LIKE HER criteria that were apparently part of this double date.

Yes, a list. Not for groceries or (for future college days) fraternity beverage purchases, but for said Prom Date that could be of approval for said Number 10, Number 10’s family, Number 10’s main squeeze and for all the f— I know Number 10’s baseball card collection.

If one figured it would lead to some comic phone calls and debates on who best fit the Number 10 criteria, one would be correct. And if one says out loud “Dude, you should have just told him to STFO and do your own #!$^! thing, Buick or no Buick’ then one would be damn right as well.

But at the time, comedy prevailed. Number 10’s main man Eddie Murphy and his talk show approving sidekick Arsenio Hall had nothing on those phone conversations, save for the hit movie thing and all. Said calls pretty much went like this:

“I get along with _________, Probably will ask her.’

‘NO YOU WON’T. SHE’S UGLY! SHE’S NOT RIDING IN MY CAR!’

(shakes head at five foot eight dude with big teeth and bowl hair cut, continues…)

“Well, I hang out with ________, in this class, she knows…’

‘NO YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER! SHE’S DISGUSTING!’

(sees comedy routine happening, serves up next line..)

‘Alright then, what about __________?

‘YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER! YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER! YOU’RE NOT TAKING ANY OF THEM! (wash, rinse, repeat)

(sees perfect setup for classic Fitzthoughtsblog approved line)

‘….then WHO IN THE F— AM I TAKING THEN?’

(imagines Number 10 having hamster spinning on wheel inside head while thinking)

‘.…I’ll think of something……see you tomorrow.’

And so….that tomorrow ( a mid-week spring Wednesday) said Number 10 told me after Spanish class he was calling me that night. Of course he was…as he usually called more often than not. But this time the conversation proved to be even more classic than before. After the FITZ/NUMBER 10/FITZ/NUMBER 10/FITZ/NUMBER 10 routine that began every conversation, our TLW approved individual finally gave some informative-yet surprising as in WTF-news.

‘I know someone who will go with you.”

(Remembers past list of women who not meet Number 10 seal of approval)

“You’re f—king sh-tting me right?’

“No dude-I know someone who wants to go to prom with you (paraphrasing dude)’

“And who the f— would that be?”

‘SARAH FOX.”

 

Now THIS was a surprise, as I indicated by my response of “You’re f—king kidding with me, right?’

This is where Number 10 actually got semi-serious for once in his life and in turn after realizing that this is actually a Hot Sonland Chick (TM) who was in our very Spanish class and quite frankly IMO very beautiful as well as ten times better looking and nicer than the others I had mentioned who had stood me up for Homecoming or advocated for frequenting Burger Kings and Subways…..this did get my attention. And after realizing that I now potentially could go to an actual prom with said beautiful girl, I also realized that this was still going off the word of a dude who at times seemed to be the type to prefer to sit on his TV set in order to watch his couch….and thus I wasn’t keeping my hopes up.  So I simply said (paraphrasing) ‘Tell you what I’ll do then…..tomorrow at the end of class I’ll ask her if I can call her to talk.’

Since said Fox SAT RIGHT BEHIND ME AND BESIDE NUMBER 10 in said Spanish class, that wasn’t going to be too hard to do. And I figured ‘why the f— not?’ because at the time I previously had as many phone conversations with her as I did Grammy Award trophies. Plus again I wasn’t expecting much to happen as shown by what was previously written. I figured ‘this will humor Number 10…and that DC trip is coming up so we get this out of the way and move on with Plan GTFO.’

So the next day-a Thursday IIRC-towards the end of 5th hour Spanish, Number 10 gives the watchful eye as the following takes place:

ME-(Turning around): “Will you be home later tonight?”

FOX-(Awake and direct): “Yes.”

ME-“Is it alright if I call you later?”

FOX-(Still awake and apparently not repulsed)- “Yes.”

ME (with Number 10 rocking the head nod with chin on fist)- “I’ll call you at 8 then.”

For your background on said Fox……

…..While I knew who she was (a good looking sophomore Hot Sonland Chick(TM) who ran cross country and track) I figured that with the exception of MAYBE seeing me as senior dude who was friends with Number 10 in Spanish class or dude who kept stats at basketball games with Young Adams that said Fox really had no idea who in the blue hell I was at all. A large part of that IMO was that during the majority of her two years at said Sonland I would only see her walking down the halls with her on-again, off-again boyfriend in one Sonland football and track star Jeremy Ross. (At this time they were off again; otherwise that picture that’s been the blog logo would never have taken place….though in fairness I’m lucky that picture gets taken to begin with.) I knew Ross going back to our days in seventh grade honors social studies and junior high football and always got along with dude; in fact dude was in my English classes junior year and usually he never brought up said Fox at all. The result was never having too many in-depth conversations with her and only noticing things like her colorful Eight Ball leather jacket that she usually sported which was something out of the wardrobe truck of the Young Adams approved (yes) Fox Network TV show In Living Color.

So while I had been fortunate enough to become acquainted with the likes of her popular cheerleader classmates Keri Caswell (if you figured she’d get mentioned after 2,000 words of writing, you know me all too well) and Jenny Story, on the contrary quite frankly I had no idea if Fox was too concerned about my existence…..much less concerned about willingly being seen in public with me. Meaning here is a pretty girl who is out of my league that I’m admittedly unsure about because I didn’t think she would give two s—ts about me. And even though was two grades younger than me at the time, yours truly was still nervous and not sure what to expect when I made the call that Thursday night.

Turned out to be memorable with an admittedly unexpected ending.

I called Sarah and was able to make small talk for a half hour or so on topics ranging from her friends (Danielle King) to mutual acquaintances present (Number 10) to mutual acquaintances past (Ross; if she didn’t know that I knew him well before, she did afterwards as I recapped early touchdowns on his junior high football days and growth spurt that led to a successful Sonland athletic career. ) For a compliment past, present and future Sarah’s voice reminded yours truly of perennial Fitzthoughtsblog favorite and 90210 starlet Jennie Garth; that helped make the conversation enjoyable but also still made me nervous. And after said half hour I figured  it was time to get rejected based on all the past s–t from previously….so I manned up to hear the word ‘no’ or another version of the ‘go f— yourself’ that one Catherine Purdy had previously done when calling her for Number 10 (as per previous posts).

That led me to saying something to the tune of ‘well, you probably know why I called, so I’ll ask; prom’s coming up soon….would you go to prom with me?’

Her reply: “I’d love to.”

After the initial shock set in and I realized SHE SAID YES I of course used the word ‘awesome’ a few dozen times and was elated to say the least. I didn’t expect her to say those words then and am STILL surprised to this day. Wasn’t every day that a former five foot four, 200 pound plus object of ridicule could end up with not only a prom date but in my opinion THE Prom Date. Still gives me goosebumps.

When I was done talking to Sarah I sat there with a huge a— grin on my face for a few minutes before keeping the promise and calling Number 10. Since Number 10 approved of said Fox (who was also in his Earth Science class and apparently got to hear Number 10’s outlook on life for two straight hours per school day) that meant that I was apparently double dating with him and for one moment his insults towards me took a backseat to WE’RE EATING AT FRENCH QUARTER and WE’RE GETTING MICHAEL JORDAN TUXES BECAUSE BARRY JACKSON’S GETTING ONE in the conversation. (You also know now how dining and wardrobe were selected for the evening.  Dude was rocking the event planner gimmick for the event without question.) Young Adams and the few other individuals who did ask me if I was going to prom were IIRC impressed as well since 1) Fox was gorgeous and 2) see number 1 since she supposedly was going with ME to this.

And that’s where the supposedly comes in….combined with stuff of months previous (Allison standing me up for Homecoming) and present (the much mentioned previous amount of cheap shots taken by Number 10 at me, my family, Young Adams and all facets of my life that did not have anything to do with this prom planning). Add to that Walczak’s mixed communication with said Number 10 (IIRC she wanted me to go with someone else on the Friday after the Thursday night I had asked Sarah on the phone) and I had a situation where I personally resolved myself to this mindset based on the previous year’s amount of Sonland related drama and b—s—: don’t be surprised if something comes up i.e. Homecoming and this doesn’t happen. In other words I ended up with two main goals: have a memorable photo taken at your house before prom while not having an incident with an increasingly arrogant, condescending and all around c–k of a so-called friend such as Number 10.

Yeah, after typing that last sentence a double date situation with dude doesn’t look too enticing when said dude openly makes fun of you, your friends, your home and your family.  And his man Cliff was sure as f— no James Eckhouse giving guidance to the youth of West Beverly.  Especially as he talked down to me and made me wonder if this prom would actually happen since I didn’t fully trust too much at the time. Call me cynical but based on what I have wrote already (again see Allison, Aimee) at the time I also considered myself a realist. As a result I did not make it the norm to talk too much about said prom (though in fairness when your class votes you Most Likely To Stay Single it means they figured I wouldn’t be talking about prom much to begin with). So here’s a quick rundown of what happened before said prom in dealing with said Prom Date in waiting:

-I wrote Sarah a couple of notes during school hours to say I was excited to go to prom with a non-inflatable female. She actually wrote back to acknowledge said acknowledgements. As exciting as it sounds.

-I talked to Sarah a handful of times on the phone. One of early said times was when I found that there would be no part of the traditional ‘go to Kings Island day after prom with Prom Date’ festivities with her because she had already made plans with her gal pal and Lady Miller golfer Michelle Baker (who was not going to said prom) for the trip to the suburban Cincinnati home of a fake Eiffel Tower, roller coasters and people donning life size costumes of Hanna Barbara characters. (You’ll find out eventually how that day went with a comedy story to go along with it.) I didn’t press the issue because quite frankly I didn’t think the prom was a guarantee to begin with (remember-I had no f—-ing confidence in this point) and simply said “I’m just happy to go to prom in the first place” even though I wasn’t so sure it was going to happen. Again, no confidence.

-I also remember getting to ask her what her dress would look like so I could figure out what to do on buying her flowers and/or a corsage for prom. Of course I smoothly brought it up by saying “I have no idea what the f— to do since I’ve never done this before” and got her to describe her dress (this came after the obligatory I GOT MY DRESS conversation that increased my odds of thinking I was going to this from 10-1 to 5-2-again, no confidence.) She described it pretty much as the photo shows. The mere thought of a strapless dress was enough to keep me in happy spirits while I figured I was getting red and white flowers of some sort…which I would in the form of the wrist crosage shown on above photo.

-before spring break and prom took place, I went to our nation’s capital for a week with said Sonland school DC Club and sponsor extraordinaire Big Jim Sparks. To show how much Number 10 paid attention when not insulting me or talking about the greatness of the Walczak family, it took him a few days to figure out I was not in said Spanish class to insult, so he of course called the house to hear “he’s in Washington D.C., Number 10″ and then the hamster wheel in his head eventually figured out that’s why I had been going to DC Club meetings and doing fundraisers (ours included of all things a plant sale-hey, it worked) for the last six months. No insults for a week was nice. The comedy of seeing dudes attempt to get high in their hotel rooms by smelling Scotch Guard was nicer. Always approved of good comedy as good friend and fellow graduate Brian Allen both talked about said situation with me realizing I needed to watch my back on said situation due to Number 10’s b—s—t.

Sarah never got a postcard or anything else from that DC trip  in part because this I never thought about sending her something until typing this very sentence. I’ll assume she figured out I was gone for the week since she sat in front of me….and if not I’ll assume she had the same optometrist as our main men Mr. Charles and Stevie Wonder. In any event, I was out of the Sonland for a week so that was enough for me.

-Spring Break happened in the first week of April. I made my first of many college choices (after all, I’m currently at college number six) by deciding to go to Transylvania University after an overnight recruiting visit where I met my future roommate and frat brother Tall Cool One Emberton (he also did his overnight visit at the same time) and the then current fraternity sweetheart and then junior member of Chi Omega sorority Laura Jo Simms. (I didn’t realize this at the time, but that was my first example of getting rushed for a fraternity as I went to an econ class, did not fall asleep (I had plenty of practice that semester in dealing with 1st hour Sonland Econ under former junior high football coach Mr. Brian Powers) , and next thing I know this woman over the age of 21 is talking to me and asking a bunch of questions and I’m going HOLY S— THIS WOMAN IS TALKING TO ME! and thinking ‘well, this day’s better than 12 years in Noblesville already so F— EVERYWHERE ELSE I’M GOING HERE.) Also helped that with scholarship money that it would be cheaper there than the likes of Indiana-Bloomington and Ball State...and as one knows from these blog posts I’m not afraid to be cheap so good for me there. Plus with what I reference later on it guaranteed that when I had a chance to back out of going to TU in May, I said THE F— NO BECAUSE TIME TO GTFO.

(So if one wonders why me of all people decided I wanted to rush a fraternity in college after having the social life of a small inland shrew for most of my existence, there it is. Beat standing in line for an hour to get a beer in Muncie.)

-As mentioned previously I then returned to have me and Young Adams get insulted by Number 10 on my birthday weekend. As mentioned earlier I let said Number 10 know what I thought of said insults which led to TLW calling me to make nice. And because I trusted Number 10 as far as I could dead lift a dead rhinoceros, I figured that I might as well see if this Prom Date was actually going to happen since I wasn’t actually talking to too many people…..

-…so that week I made the decision that if my luck was going to continue to be s—-y that I would know that I didn’t want it to be due to me not communicating or showing up at Prom Date House that Saturday with no Prom Date in the vicinity. Hence that week I simply asked Sarah if it was alright if I could stop by her house to meet the parents and give them the itinerary of WTF was going to happen that weekend. As goofy as it may sound between the Number 10 related drama and my not wanting to get stood up I said f— it and figured why the f— not? Hence more unintentional comedy as on the afternoon of Sunday April 21 yours truly sailed the 1977 Buick over to her house and was greeted by her father to then shoot the proverbial s–t and say “uh, I’m coming over in a couple weeks to take your daughter to prom so I wanted to introduce myself and (paraphrasing) let you know what the ##!#$ is going on.’

Dude seemed to approve, or at least dude seemed to humor me in acting like he approved. Plus dude probably saw a 6 foot 140 pound gent with Coke bottle glasses driving a 1977 Buick and thought to himself ‘well, I don’t have much to worry about.’

In the midst of said itinerary (where my highlight was-and this cracks me up typing this-cutting the promo of “Your daughter is meeting Baker at 6 am for Kings Island..I’m also picking up three other people at 6 am for Kings Island…so your daughter’s going to be back at a reasonable time.” Hence Mr. Fox probably figured yours truly wasn’t going to be lining up any kegs for the evening….or for that matter any Scotch Guard. He seemed to approve. I approved of his approval to approve. And in the midst of this conversation out walked Sarah wearing just a t-shirt and sweatpants…….where for the first time I realized she was actually a lot shorter than I thought (maybe 5’4” or 5’5” without heels). Probably came from underestimating her height after seeing her walk down the halls every day with the then 6’5” Ross. Or more than likely it came from the fact that I was a complete dumbass.

With said Prom Night schedule dictated to said Mr. Fox, history then took place because not only had Sarah not ran away or kicked me in the genitals or thrown her track cleats at me but for the first and only time I got asked to go to her room (which was on the first floor of said house…in fact IIRC the window view looked right onto the street) with her asking “Do you want to see my dress?” 

Damn straight I did.

So I got to see what she had bought earlier in the month…..and when I got to see The Prom Dress -a strapless outfit including a white top with black polka dots, red rose on the area of the you know what and black skirt- of course I stuttered a few times and said something to the tune of ‘well I now know what to do on the flowers’ while realizing that I may actually not get stood up for this deal at all. After all SHE BOUGHT A DRESS (with black opera gloves to go with it). With most of the fashion trends picking either long gowns or those pastel colored deals that were straight out of what one would see at somewhere like the Merry Go Round store in Castleton Square Mall (home of the $35 IOU brand sweatshirts that yours truly used to pimp) safe to say I approved of the apparel. And I also figured ‘well, if I show up on May 11 and she’s not there, there should be one hell of a story as to why she’s not.’

Oh, and she was shorter than I thought.

(That led to this memorable quote from Sarah -paraphrasing-from the last phone conversation I had with her before prom: “No one’s ever wanted to meet my parents before.” That’s because no one you ever dated had a senior year dating history that rivaled the Republican party’s presidential election record against Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930’s and 40’s. Of course I didn’t say that in response…I just mumbled ‘well, I wanted to meet them’ or some other dumbf—k answer because again NO CONFIDENCE.)

-and of course in the midst of this as documented earlier I would have an altercation with Number 10 where I punched him in the face in front of TLW and then meet up with his parentals  Cliff and Mrs. Cliff (with Number 10 hiding in the background) where I told them that Number 10 could in so many words go f— himself for being a c-ck to my friends, family and most importantly myself. (Which led to Cliff asking ‘What about prom?’ and me of course going ‘What about it?’ because it was just too good a response to pass up.) In turn three things came out of said Cliff Summit: the gentleman’s agreement where I promised to go on said double date with Number 10 as driver extraordinaire to dinner and downtown while I would not f— anyone’s prom up; me never respecting Number 10 again and knowing I needed to watch my back that next weekend; and lastly the realization that believe it or not this thing may actually happen next weekend after all. Add to that a little bit of self-respect for standing up to Number 10’s b—s— in front of him and his entire family (I included TLW as family as IIRC she was looked at by the Cliffs as the modern day Michelle Obama of the time) and yours truly felt ‘well, this prom thing may actually take place after all.’ Which led me to give Young Adams the comical recap of dealing with The Family Cliff while seeing Number 10 stand behind his mother and act victim…..and like I said before, I WAS DOUBLE DATING WITH THIS DUDE TO PROM. 

Bad Lifetime movie in the making. All I needed was Lori Loughlin playing TLW (as in Full House version Loughlin of course-she was a personal favorite then and now as you’re not shocked I’d mention it if you’ve ever read anything else on this blog) and I was set. At the very worst I may complete my senior year by getting the finger on not one but two school dances; at the very least I would be dealing with watching what Number 10 might try to pull.

But as I gave the recap to Young Adams and then cruised over with him later that evening to visit That Son Shields, the realization was beginning to sink in that in one week I might be going to prom with a Hot Sonland Chick (TM).  Add to that I had found that Shields had gotten the go-ahead and the cash for the following weekend so I would be driving the then sophomore Shields and his then girlfriend fellow sophomore Meghan Wheat to Kings Island the next day (again stay tuned next post who goes with us) and I figured that I might actually be ending my senior year on a positive note after all-Number 10 related drama or not.

-The result was a lot of anxiousness that week of prom because the closer Saturday May 11 got the more I realized that again this might happen. Generally what I remember that week is a few people asked if I would be going, me saying yes, and after they were shocked that a man who was more Don Knotts than Don Johnson was going to this deal they then asked who I was going with and then usually voiced their approval.  Some even noted they would try to find me at said deal and I said ‘you’ll see me sitting at a table since my dancing s—s.’ (I’d be prophetic on that). This also led to none other than Young Ross seeing me in the hall between classes and asking if I was in fact going to this shindig with his on again and now firmly off again ex-girlfriend. I in turn told him that was affirmative and asked back if there were any issues on said ex-girlfriend going with said man who drove a 1977 Buick big enough to float without issues on Morse Reservoir. Since he did not throw me out off the ledge or down a flight of stairs, the assumption was there was no issues. Good to know.

Oh, and one day TLW came up to me after 4th hour sociology and asked me (with a look that rivaled the one that her mother once gave me when I went to the bank one summer Saturday in undergrad to open up an account and said mother did not recognize me without said Coke bottle spectacles) if I was excited for prom. Because said facial expression of TLW always cracked me up and because I thought of hopefully happening Prom Date wearing said Prom Dress, I said I was.  Because it was better than the one time she stomped up to me after class and threw a handwritten note at me telling me to go f— myself in the midst of said drama of standing up to Number 10’s insults, it reminded me just now that if I had in fact did go f— myself as many people have asked me to over the years I would actually be rivaling Hugh Hefner instead of reading his periodicals. (Hey, I read them for the articles…..occasionally.)

As for Sarah, she was not officially The Prom Date yet; with Number 10 only making small talk to me that last week (he never insulted me again-to my face, that is) Spanish class was generally stress free compared to the past because apparently most of the class did not figure I was supposed to go to prom or better yet that Sarah was supposed to go with me. With Sarah generally making as much noise as a brick wall in said class, my main memory is hearing the class bell ring at 1:51 pm that Friday and then turning around to tell her “See you tomorrow” before rolling out of said Spanish class to final hour of yearbook for my daily updates from Nancy Boosel about how her multiple boyfriends were doing. (Give her credit for entertainment value as she was also happy I was going to said prom and noted she would see me there….with which boyfriend though IIRC was still up for debate. Impressive nonetheless.) By then I figured if something was going to happen such as a mysterious injury at her morning track meet that required her to get treatment from witch doctors in Zaire- and thus have me actually living that Simpsons episode shown earlier on -yes-Fox TV earlier that very year where Homer goes to the prom by himself-then that was how things were going to be.

Not surprisingly that Friday night before prom was me and Young Adams sailing to Glendale to pick up the tux and then doing the usual cruise/mall/Pizza Hut combo. (The tux was as mentioned earlier one from the Michael Jordan formal collection…way I see it I could have done worse and since it wasn’t powder blue it was a win win for all.) Young Adams was more enthusiastic about my upcoming evening than I was, but in fairness Young Adams had grown up with me (as also mentioned before he grew up three houses down from me..and coincidentally was also a North Elementary alum with a then brunette version of younger Sarah) and seen me drop the 60 pounds while saying ‘no mas’ to the arrogance of Number 10 that had come from Number 10’s role as 12th man on the Sonland hoops squad and 1st man apparently younger than TLW to date said TLW.  For all I knew Sarah was out that night partying with the Wayans Brothers; for all I hoped was that she would be ready to go and rock the Prom Dress that following night. No Hollywood antics for me as me and Young Adams closed down Pizza Hut and then were out till 2 am sailing in said Buick as my now being 18 meant that Adams had a “cousin” that guaranteed him being able to ditch curfew-and later on talk himself out of a traffic ticket when he was pulled over that summer driving said Buick-more often than not. (And I just chuckled at the thought of calling dude Cousin Adams.)

Fitting that was how what would become The Prom Night would begin.

The afternoon of Saturday, May 11 was like most in the Sonland City of the early 1990’s- a pretty quiet one.  Not much excitement that Saturday since I already had the tux and wasn’t going to drop $100 on new kicks at the Castleton Finish Line store after having dropped $68 or so for a tux rental (which was a nice $50 or more then what I would be paying later on at college with the Transylvania student discount set up at the formal place the fraternity always went to on Richmond Road by Applebee’s in Lexington. Yes, I was pretty f—-ing cheap then, but then in response….college). Basically the day was sleeping in till noon or so (a prerequisite for the next four years at TU after regularly staying up till 4 or 5 in the morning most Friday nights), washing the docked up ’77 Buick for whatever f—ing reason since admittedly it was a ’77 Buick, watching a Celtics-Pistons NBA playoff game on TV, and going to the now defunct Repp Flowers  to pick up the order for The Prom Corsage (at halftime of said Celtics-Pistons). The corsage is actually the biggest memory I have of what happened before prom because I was wearing my $15 blue Nike t-shirt with my black Nike Force basketball shorts to said Repp (call me detail) and I sailed the Buick out there to find that I was the only dude in the place…and actually the only customer.  Meaning there wasn’t much issue in saying “I’m the dude who called in the white corsage with small red roses on it” and them figuring it out. I still wasn’t sure if there was actually going to be a real live Prom Date to wear said corsage, but I figured I would find out soon enough.

Sarah had a track meet, our pal Number 10 was sitting the pine as the lone sophomore Sonlander on the school baseball team, and as I would also soon find out TLW had a special guest assistant to get her ready for said shindig. That’s all I knew at the time as I pimped the black Stacy Adams dress shoes to go along with black bow tie and a red rose in the lapel that came along with said corsage gimmick. Because Number 10 did not want to have anything to do with my family (calling it as it is, ladies and gents) nor go near my household (again, great dude) the plan was for me to go pick up Sarah, me to then drive Sarah over to Number 10’s after I got said photos taken with Sarah (more on that momentarily), then go out to get TLW before dinner at Fifth Quarter and doing whatever one did at said prom at the downtown Indiana Ballroom. Having decided to not try contacts out full time, I carted out the trade mark Coke bottle glasses except for photos when taking them off (also more on that next post). And the two goals of “have date show up” and “have no altercation where you lose your temper with Number 10 for past and present b—s—t” remained set in stone.  Not exactly what 99 plus percent of theoretically red blooded American teenage males have as their goals for said prom, but I was being realistic. Plus as far as I was concerned this weekend of prom and Kings Island was as much of a reward for dropping those much mentioned 60 pounds as I was going to get so I might as well go over to Prom Date House and see if said Prom Date was actually there while dressed like a waiter at the Ritz Charles.

The 77 Buick was then sailed down Tenth Street/Allisonville Road to said Prom Date residence. (No exact time on departure-I just remember it was daylight. That way I’d have a better view if the door was slammed in my face.) There weren’t any theatrics in rolling to the front door because walking out of a ’77 Buick with whitewall tires while sporting a tux covered that front. As her parents answered the door I basically only hoped that there would be a Prom Date to go with me to said prom and for me to not get kicked in the b—s (not necessarily in that order.) Lucked out because after just a few minutes of waiting in the living room (which led me to wonder if that was how she’d escape through the window) a door opens and low and behold a VERY HOT CHICK in a strapless dress, black heels, black opera gloves and primped up blonde hair walks out. As one would expect, I basically did the ‘Beavis and Butthead’ eyes and (as mentioned before in the Instagram account) did my best Jon Cryer imitation from that “Two and A Half Men” episode where Brooke Shields guest stars as the new neighbor, gets introduced by our main man Charlie Sheen to Cryer’s Alan Harper and Alan then proceeds to babble the word WELCOME for three straight minutes. Only mine was a version of YOU LOOK GREAT while trying not to drool or take a No. 1 (not to be confused with No. 2, er, Number 10) in the rented tux.

If I got to chose two highlights for the evening, that was one of them because, well, Sarah looked great. Better yet SHE WAS GORGEOUS.

Also if one makes the comment ‘You have no f—ing idea what she said to you when you picked her up, do you?” then one would be right.

I did remember to put the corsage on and didn’t hurt myself in the process, and since it had one of those wrap bands on their that wasn’t too much of a disaster because she wore it for any/all pictures that were she willingly took with me (emphasis of course on willingly because hey, I’m realistic: at the time her going to this with me was a WTF moment in full effect).

I also now realized that for now at least I actually was now officially with The Prom Date.  Good for me. Actually as referenced enough there at first and the boat, er car, great for me.

After said showing of flower power (including me approving of what I called the Triple R for the red rose on her rack via said Prom Dress) and feeling like I did in fact have the modern day Sonland version of Jennie Garth as my date for the next few hours, or minutes, or before she decided to pull a Jenny Padgett. So we sailed off to my house for the other highlight of the evening: getting pictures taken at my house (courtesy of my late mother-RIP) including the one that has been the blog logo for the past year as well as one of my all time favorite photos. (The all time favorite one is on the @fitzthoughts page with #thankyousarahjane as one of the hashtags because of course it is.) I wrote before on the Instagram account that going with a beautiful girl to prom made all the work in dropping weight and all the hell and heartaches I went through dealing with being overweight and and bullied worth it.

That’s actually a good place to stop.

(Hence this becomes Part 1 and Part 2 is coming up next post. Shows my time management skills need improving since I wrote this over three evenings between said paper.)

Safe to say if I wrote 7,500 words for this post that I’ll have some good comedy to write about for the next one as I need to detail what turned out to be some good advice from a very good-or hint hint GREAT-looking source.

Thanks again to any and all in cyberspace reading this as I plan on following up with Part 2 sooner than later (as in not waiting a year to do it). But while I’m at it no time like the present to make sure to do this because again being out with a beautiful girl on prom night made going from 5’4 200 plus to 6’0 140 all worth it…..

Thank you Sarah Jane.

Jeff

@fitzthoughts

Fitzthoughtsblog at fitzthoughtsblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7-11-17: The One Year Anniversary Post

Happy anniversary to the blog as I celebrate the first post made last July after completing yet another school assignment. Meanwhile the Indiana Pacers apparently believe that this Tom Crean product getting waxed by a junior high schooler will replace Paul George and lead the Pacers to the NBA World title. In other words business as usual with my favorite pro hoops team and my not-so-favorite thing of writing papers.

Big thanks to any and all who may have taken some time out of their lives the last 12 months to read ramblings about actually overcoming obesity as well as bullying from MAD magazine poster boys in the first half of my high school years. The last two ended up having much better times …..like going to more concerts with beautiful women and seeing Hot Sonland Chicks in bikinis.  Could have been a hell of a lot worse.

Throwing it to a FOX Network approved media favorite for the finish…

Image result for anniversary gif

Work in seven hours. Next paper due in 24. Weekend can’t get here soon enough.

Jeff

@fitzthoughts

fitzthoughtsblog.wordpress.com

 

5-14-17: Fitzthoughts Five: The Mother’s Day Post

 

Image result for mother's day movie
Apparently Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson made a movie last year called Mother’s Day. Not like I needed an excuse to post pictures of those two, so good timing there.  Also shows how I haven’t been to the movies since Daniel Day-Lewis starred in Lincoln, but I digress.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day from central Indiana. Good time to post for the first time since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a quick Fitzthoughts Five on what’s been going on as late (or in other words what excuses have kept me from posting besides no Indiana University coaching changes):

THOUGHT ONELIBRARY LIVING: Previous posts probably had a mention or two about dealing with my old pals at Comcast. Chalk on some computer problems and yours truly had the honor of hitting of the Hamilton East Public Library to write papers and do schoolwork that was not related to this blog. (Hard to write 15 page papers for PhD programs on Verizon Wireless LG cell phones.) While the cable is now cut off with a mysterious ending credit that has not appeared as of yet, the internet set up just now got settled to where I no longer go from work to said library in order to do 2-3 hours of homework each weeknight. Though if anyone ever asks, one can get 2 1/2 to 3 hours of free log-in time at said library’s computer lab depending on who’s trying to stay awake at their front desk. Hence sometimes I needed the library card (which of course had never been used because I usually go to said library as often as local Indiana sports teams win big games) and sometimes I didn’t. But it got the job done in order to transition to….

THOUGHT TWO-PAPER PROFICIENCY: …writing the before mentioned 15 page paper for this past PhD class at good ol’ Indiana Tech. In order to that I had to take off last Saturday from work so said paper could be thrown down. I was fortunate that it was a take home exam so I got to answer multiple questions on the rights and wrongs of whether I agreed with fictional case studies on Peru mining towns and if leadership model A was the baddest #!$^$ on the planet compared to leadership model 3. After cussing outloud for five straight minutes asking why in the $@$%! I was wasting a nice Saturday to type about said stuff as opposed to daydreaming about the summer before I went to college number one when I saw the tremendous trio of Noblesville HIgh School cheerleading stars Jenny Story, Jenny Flaugher and Keri Caswell in bikinis (details here) or anything else that did not want me to hurl the computer desktop out the window. Fortunately around 4 pm I said to $!$% with it and hunkered down to get the damn thing done before the midnight deadline. It was submitted at 9:30 pm, and I ended getting the grade needed to keep said A minus (I had a 92 when I needed a 93 for the all out A, but quite frankly I didn’t give two s—ts because the class was over). But if one wants to know how to NOT spend a nice Saturday evening, there you have it.

Leads to…

THOUGHT THREE-PISSPOOR PACER PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES: as is the case every spring since my days at said Noblesville High School (aka the Sonland) when the Indiana Pacers began to lose pro basketball playoff series with regularity, I scheduled my work and school time around watching their inevitable beatdown courtesy of ESPN’s favorite son LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. As they tend to do with the routineness of Hamilton County shucking out another piece of farmland for a subdivision, the Pacers ensured to take defeat from the jaws of victory on multiple occassions in order to get swept 4 games to zilch in losing the the defending NBA champs. Couldn’t even win a game. Of course I didn’t expect them to win the series-after all, this is an organization that keeps Donnie Walsh on the payroll to apparently fall asleep during home games because ownership considers him the modern day Einstein of NBA basketball thinking-so I looked at said beatings as a way to evaluate the team and see who I would personally prefer to be on the team’s roster in 2017-18 instead of picking up inflated paychecks to underachieve against the likes of Toronto, Boston and Milwaukee. Here’s what I found:

-the hardcore fans of the Pacers Digest message board lived up to standards as multiple individuals blamed Paul George for everything from the losing sweep to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. (Ironically one of the posters kept calling said All-Star George a baby throughout the entire year, and unironically dude’s avatar includes Democratic Party approved tyke Stewie Griffin from Fox’s Family Guy so..GTFO on that). Dude averaged 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists a game in the series. You know who didn’t, Seth McFarlane fan? Your man Monta Ellis, that’s who. (Ellis is StewieFan’s favorite player. Shocking, I know.) Your son Ellis scored 22 POINTS THE ENTIRE SERIES. He was brought in to get the team 15 to 20 points PER GAME. Dude’s done as an NBA starter unless he goes to a bad Western Conference team and gets to jack 15 to 20 shots a game. Then again I’d have no issue with it as I’d prefer to not see Ellis play another game in a Pacer uniform again. He was that bad this year. Like the idiot I am, I watched enough games to know.

Myles Turner has a long way to go before becoming the NBA All-Star the Pacers expect him to be. Turner was Tristan Thompson’s b—- the entire series. 12 points and 7 boards a game won’t cut it in big games. However there’s a half glass full/half glass empty dynamic involved. Half glass full is dude is only 21 and hasn’t reached full potential yet. Half glass empty is your NBA team is pretty s—-ty when your second best player is 21. Which means….

-….I hope to never see CJ Miles, Al Jefferson, or Lavoy Allen ever wear Indiana Pacers uniforms again.  Miles put up 29 points combined in the four playoff losses; not surprisingly some Pacers Digest board members believe Miles is bound to be in the Hall of Fame someday, so they feel losing him from the roster would be a catastrophe. News flash: said Pacers Digest people make me feel like a nuclear physicist after reading garbage like that. (Miles is the icon in waiting that Larry Bird signed in 2014 during Bird’s offseason salary battle with Lance Stephenson; as Bird had to bring back Stephenson JUST TO MAKE THE F—-ING PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR as well as to avoid having a losing regular season record, I’d rather have Pamela Anderson’s CJ Parker from Baywatch out there on the court. Which of course led to me daydreaming about Pamela Anderson for a few moments. You’re not surprised, I know.). I’ve talked about Allen’s worthlessness before so nothing’s changed there. Jefferson? Couldn’t even get on the court during the playoff series. Hence Jefferson (the big $10 million per year addition to be the bench scorer the Pacers have been searching for since George HW Bush was in the White House) was, yes, more worthless than Allen. Enough said. Could have carted out any undrafted rookie to do what he did this year at 1/10th the cost. Then again, a Donnie Walsh team is not afraid to waste money no matter how many Indianapolis sportswriters are on the team’s payroll to tell you that the Pacers are the best franchise in professional sports……which again enforces said point about wasting said money.

TLDR: no Ellis and no Jefferson in Pacer uniforms will make me happy next year. No Allen should be a given.  And the Pacers have posted records of 38-44 (no playoffs), 45-37 (losing 4 out of 7 games to Toronto in a playoff opening round) and 42-40 (losing 4 straight to Cleveland in another playoff opening round) since deciding said CJ Miles was a key member of a championship contender. CJ Miles would not be a key member of his nephew’s latest Playstation game, so….no. Miles IS good at losing NBA games, though, as he’s been doing it for 12 years now. I’d prefer the Pacers to not overpay this individual to make it a baker’s dozen. But these are the Pacers, so I’m ready for Miles to get re-signed to a $10 million annual deal and not blink twice. It’s what they do. Which means no money for….

-…Jeffrey DeMarcus Teague who supposedly will command a salary of $20 million in the open market next year. Dude actually is a competent NBA point guard on offense (top 10 in the NBA in assists, 15 points per game on the scoring front) while kind of worthless on defense (Cleveland part-time senior citizen Kyrie Irving dropped 25 points per game on Teague in the playoffs, including a 37 point effort in the second game that ensured the Pacers would get swept). Hence you could spend $20 million more usefully….like keeping Paul George in town so you could have a reason to watch the team to begin with. So Teague’s situation will be the toughest call the Pacers front office will have to make. As the front office will now be led by the man who once drafted Greg Oden over Kevin Durant and includes indiviuals who preferred George Hill over Kawhi Leonard, not real encouraging. Hence again I’m ready for that 5 year, $50 million CJ Miles contract to get inked because Pacers.

-lastly Thaddeus Charles Young is, well, Thaddeus Charles Young: an undersized power forward with an oversized contract who is underwhelming when asked to be a starter alongside a center (Turner) who prefers to shoot three pointers because Young also prefers to shoot three pointers and not really do too much to win games. Averages of 11 points and 6 rebounds a game are not iconic for an NBA starter who made $14 million this year and cost this franchise a first round pick who could have been just as productive while NOT making $14 million a year. His one good trait in my view: not being either Al Jefferson or Lavoy Allen. Yes, I’m grasping for straws on that one.

With Larry Bird deciding to take a lesser role (read: not be the main man in charge of personnel mdecision making while keeping his hopes alive of owning an NBA team by being involved with said Indiana NBA team to possibly own one day) while Kevin Pritchard (the man who picked Oden over Durant when he was the main front office dude with Portland) takes over the lead role, the Pacers front office at least acted like they are attempting to make changes to compete and not be a mediocre POS team like they’ve been the last three seasons. But if Ellis and Jefferson are still on the roster next year doing jack s–t, then I’m not going to expect too much out of Pritchard until both those dudes are long gone. Perhaps Turner will be the next great NBA legend. Perhaps this blog will be the inspiration for an Academy Award winning movie with New York Times approved actress Meryl Streep in the lead. Hence I’m not counting on an NBA championship parade in Indianapolis next summer. Nor should I, really. 40 years of losing countless NBA games that matter will do that.

Good luck, Mr. Pritchard. If you read this you know my expectations are low, but you also know that my stupid a– will watch your team next year anyway. Win win for all involved.

Oh yeah, other points….

THOUGHT FOUR: WEEKEND WALKING– growing up in Noblesville (aka Sonland City) meant riding your bike around streets with potholes and having limited options of things to do. You had a skating rink (now torn down), a Pizza Hut (now relocated), a McDonald’s (now remodeled) and emphasis on going to high school football and basketball games (the latter in which would lead me to being your dude who sat with two clipboards keeping stats for the school teams as mentioned verbatum during senior year…which at least kept me out of having to work weekends at Shoe Carnival, so there’s that). I never figured that the adult version of me would see Noblesville not have pothole plagued streets, much less look respectable to walk around in. However tax money aplenty and modernization have led to the city actually being a place that I can handle; it also has led to a place that I don’t mind walking around in for some sort of exercise or just to stay calm during weekends where one needs a break from routines like writing 15 page papers that make you want to throw furniture or throw down a fifth of the nearest available beverage.

Hence at least once a weekend I try to go for a 30 minute walk around the area. I’ve had back to back Sundays where I got to stroll through downtown into Forest Park (which was once a place with a couple bad shelters, a baseball field, a pool and a broken down minature golf course) and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I also had no problem dining downtown at the local Subway or even going by foot to McDonald’s. It leads to memories good (like the time I won the North Elementary “Hoop Shoot” basketball contest for my grade by hitting the most layup baskets in 30 seconds, which incidentally was the most I ever got to shoot in elementary school but that’s another story) and not so good (getting hit by a car one time while riding said bike). It also leads to a kind of important memory, which will be….

THOUGHT FIVE: THE PROM DATE. I’ve only babbled about this every single time I’ve posted since starting this blog last year, but I’ve talked about wanting to recap the prom because 1) it was what inspired me to start the @fitzthoughts account on Instagram while 2) then helping me to start said fitzthoughtsblog as well as 3) being influencial in what I knew I had to do to fully improve myself with my time at the Sonland ending and my time at college number one (Transylvania University of Lexington, Kentucky, aka Transy to alums and Lexington 40508 to me) beginning.  Last week (May 11, to be exact) was the anniversary of said prom. Whether eating at a Ruby Tuesday’s in Anderson and seeing Anderson area youth decked out at said restaurant for their proms (which was a few years ago) or dealing with job training stuff (which was this year) I always seem to remember that particular date. While said Prom Date in question-one Sarah Jane Fox-probably has little concern on whether I am breathing, paying taxes or losing fantasy football playoff games on an annual basis, nonetheless it was kind of important. Considering I was a 5 foot 4, 200 pound freshman and felt like I had an uphill battle just to try to look like anything resembling a normal dude in high school (see here for examples) just going to the damn prom was a big deal to begin with, and to go with a beautiful girl made it even better.  As if the avatar photo for the blog and (as of this typing) the Instagram account isn’t subtle enough, right?

Like I said, it was pretty important. Now it’s time for me to get off my a– and write a litte about why it was important.  Or as the case tends to me, a lot.

Time to write that post then. After all, beats homework. (Plus next assignment’s not due Wednesday. Management of time in full effect.)

Thanks to any and all who read this and again Happy Mother’s Day.

Jeff

@fitzthoughts on Instagram

@fitzthoughtsblog on Tumblr

fitzthoughtsblog.wordpress.com