Thought I’d lost 80 dollars.
I always think people aren’t going to know who I am. I ran into three, yes, three people from high school or college yesterday (in quick succession), and said hi, thinking they might not know me, but… they all immediately recognized me. Heh.
I guess I’m hard to forget.
It expires in 2016, when I turn 30. And there are like fifty stamps of entry and departure in here.
Shirtless man throwing empty beer can at pigeon. I am definitely on venice beach.
I’m still not going to be scared. But feel free to be, if that’s your thing.
Buy a flashlight, some batteries, and read some books.
And get drunk. You can do that without electricity.
…Dorky motherfucker named JG. On this vacation, I’m being lazy.
Absolutely massive here. And I can still read everything! Yay!
Man. Glad I’m being driven around eating cookies and drinking milk instead of driving.
A tasty dinner you helped prepare!
- Me: Your subway only goes two places!
- Lizzie-Caplan-esque Two Boots employee: Actually, it goes four places. But it takes two hours to get there.
Two boots LA is right by Jeremy’s house.
Remember that date, when it was kind of freaky for a little while and we bonded over the internet.
There are two entire amish families on this train. This train clearly runs on electricity. And they have babies, so its not rumspringa. Amish fail.
I’ve been here once before. I am here now. That’s plenty of times. My train is already delayed because of course it is. I’m getting a strong newark/camden vibe.
…why yes of course I’ll be tumblring (from my phone) during my train ride. I have several movies to review!
Bars that stay open to a reasonably late time (2 am is for sad college freshmen named Justin)
A subway that takes you places besides one main avenue downtown
Taxis that, like, exist
You know, it’s really hard to be from NYC and not find all other cities in this country relative failures at functioning.
I really like San Francisco (unlike the next place I’m going, it’s definitely very walkable), but, man, I miss my MTA.
- Minuses: babies, dry air.
- Pluses: trivia, parks and rec.
- Not bad.
- In cali!
You know, I haven’t flown in a year and a half (since I returned from Asia). I left the country in January (on the cruise for which I started this blog). But, ya know what? I like flying. And after those cross-pacific flights, cross-country ain’t shiiiiiit. Catch ya on the flippity-flip.
When traveling around a not-foreign country/city, do not randomly assume all travel will fail, especially in the middle of the day, when the 6, E, and AIR trains are all running juuust fine. On the plus side, Delta’s online check-in is bomb. Well, time to saddle up for some serious JFK chill time.
If people with much less privilege have to live on a few bucks a day, I can keep my tight budget of $30/day during my trip to CA. I’ve done it, I can do it.
I have gotten over 100% of my back problems from 05-06.
But last night I passed the fuck out on my side.
And, yeah, not going to the gym today. Ouuuch.
Jesse Pinkman might win this week’s Badass award.
And he does!
“Since when do vegans eat fried chicken?”
…that begins on a note of propulsive energy.
- Mom: Ron, Justin went out with a black girl! Three times!
- Ron: (eyes bug out in shock).
It seems that I use twitter for 3 things.
1. As a conduit for my tumblr.
2. To follow the goings on in the zeitgeist.
3. To get celebrities to respond to me.
So far, with number 3, I’ve talked to the dad from 7th heaven, Melanie Lynskey, Christa Miller, Chuck Knoblauch, Shirley from Community, and Nick Swisher. Yay.
I don’t remember the first time I met Stanley, because I was 3 years old. According to my parents, he was present when I tested in to the school back in 1989 and he liked what he saw. You never know if these things are true, what parents say, but I like to believe it.
For most of the next ten years, he existed as a figure on the periphery, running the school from his perch on the third floor and showing up around the halls occasionally.
You’d hear things, of course. I had no idea that, although I was somewhat scared to approach the man, he knew who I was the entire time. Funny how life works.
I knew his son Mike vaguely throughout lower school and middle school. I was scared of Mike, too. Not in a physical sense, but I just assumed Mike would be so much smarter than I was that, when we happened to walk out of the school building the first day of ninth grade together and get some lunch, I tried to use big words to seem intelligent. We were talking about girls and I wouldn’t stoop to saying “hot;” no, no, everyone was “attractive.” I was a pretty goofy kid.
There’s a theme here though. Most everything I did that had to do with Stanley, even on the periphery, involved me reaching up and trying to improve.
When Mike and I became good friends and I started spending time at the man’s home, some of that old intimidation remained, but I actually came to understand that, as much as a giant can respect a dwarf, he did have respect for me, more than I had for myself throughout my idiotic angsty high school years.
When I was applying to college, and everyone around me was pulling 5s on APs, I really didn’t think I’d get into an elite school. This is totally a #firstworldproblem, but I figured I’d go to someplace okay and that my parents would be disappointed in me.
The Justin from 2001 and 2002 was not a confident person.
The process at Saint Ann’s was to meet with Stanley alone. Then with Linda (the Assistant Headmaster), then with Stanley, with your parents.
When I met with Stanley, I figured he’d tell me I could hope to go to someplace good but that it would be a reach.
Stanley said something I’ll never forget: “Where do you WANT to go?”
I had no idea, but I babbled out some names. He shook his head and told me to aim higher. I asked him if he really thought I could get into Ivies, and he said there was absolutely no reason why they wouldn’t take me, even if I didn’t believe it.
I still didn’t, but it gave me something to think about that summer.
Of course I went to Princeton, had my ups and downs, and now I’m here, doing my thing.
But the real point is that Stanley’s confidence in me, which existed long before my confidence in myself, extended to the teachers I met and studied under at Saint Ann’s, all of those wonderful, innovative teachers like Ms. Avrich and Mr. O’Rourke and Alex Darrow and Ms. Kantor and the rest. Even the teachers for whom I did not perform well (sorry, Ms. Horlick…) seemed to see something in me that I hadn’t yet tapped into.
I feel so honored and lucky to have had such an experience growing up, that even when I slacked off, I did not encounter more than one or two teachers who didn’t call me out on my shit.
Saint Ann’s was (and, I hope, still is) about creativity and passion and confidence. At least for me. It was about writing and reading and languages, or if you wanted it could have been about computers or biology or math.
I remember, I had a really, really depressing day in the spring of 2007, when someone tried very hard to bring me down at Princeton, and I had no post-grad plans, and I knew I’d be broke and living with Dad for a while. Even my Korea plan was not supported.
I happened to be in New York that day. And I stopped by Saint Ann’s and just walked around the building. And I saw poems. Poems specifically about global warming, where young children were being taught about the world around them and their potential impact upon it.
I saw these poems and I knew how lucky these kids were. I look back now and I know that my life’s work must be to help students receive the opportunities that I had, for far too few young people are given a chance to flourish even before they gather their confidence to themselves.
Stanley saw that I could fly when I could barely walk. And though I haven’t achieved liftoff just yet, I wouldn’t even be able to think about getting off the ground if it wasn’t for the world he helped create.
There are very few people you can point to and say you wouldn’t be you if they hadn’t been them. But Stanley was one of those people.
Rest well, sir. You have earned it.