Time Capsule: “Hawaii Trip – Part Four”

It’s hard to imagine that this picture was taken on July 9, 2010. I miss you two, and I hope we can get together some time soon.

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Aloha!

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Time Capsule: “Hawaii Trip – Part One”

“Emotions are so fickle. Moods are so situational.”

Do you ever find that you really want to take out your frustration on everyone around you? That, even if someone were to ask you why you were frustrated, you could not actually put it into words? You simply feel like you’re drowning or on fire, and you want to take someone down with you?

Fortunately, I’m not at that point. Haha!

STORY TIME:

Tonight I sit alone at the sound board in Stone Theatre, listening to the wonderful cast of Six Women with Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know as they rehearse their music. I’m running the sound board before Tech Week. (I say, “running.” What I mean is, “watching over” before the actual Sound Board Operator arrives.)

The cast is doing wonderful, and we have about thirteen days ’til open. So, I can only imagine how great the show will be by then.

All that to say, I forgot about the time commitment to Theatre, after having been gone for over two years. While away, I missed it. I missed the magic and adventure of it. I forgot the duty, responsibility, and work of it.

Mix that together with classwork – I’m in Stone Theatre all my waking hours, it seems.

Now, there are two responses to this. Either I could decide to be grateful, or I could decide to be bitter.

That’s it. Those are the two options.

I’m currently in a retrospective tango with both bitterness and gratitude.

It reminds me of the first night I spent in Hawaii.

TIME CAPSULE:

It was 8:30 pm in Hawaii, but back in Tennessee it was 1:30 am. And we had finally arrived at the airport – Mama, Gene, Kayla, Shane, Travis, Isaac, and myself. We accrued our luggage – seven suitcases – from baggage claim. I was cranky after not sleeping for over 36 hours. In the totality of those 36 hours, I hadn’t peed because of my irrational fear of public restrooms. I was bloated, needless to say.

After gathering our luggage together, we went to get a rental car. And it was the rental-car-place’s busiest night, confirmed by one of the employees. My anger was rising while I tried not to pee on myself. After waiting a ridiculous amount of time, all of us climbed into a minivan. Travis, Kayla, and I piled into the backseat with our carry-on luggage, and then Isaac’s baby stroller was piled on top of us.

We drove around in search of our condo. My attitude became worse when I realized we could not find the condo. Gene had somehow confused the directions. We passed the condo three times that night. And once we finally arrived to the condo’s gate, we had no code to open it. We had no idea which condo was ours as we looked through the gate. As opposed to most places in the continental United States, lights on the island are scarce. We could see almost nothing without the assistance of stars.

We waited for another car to drive through the gate, and we followed hard behind them. Yes, we got into the gate illegally.

And then we found a security guard. The guard helped us find our condo, but once we got there, we had no code to get into the house.

Four teens, an eight-month-old, and two adults, who had to deal with their irritable kids, were sitting in a parking lot with no way into the comfort of a condo that they had payed for several in advance.

Gene, reaching his boiling point, said to the security guard, “I guess I’ll go over and pay a thousand dollars for a room tonight at the Hilton.” Gene never yelled; he only ever became highly stern – at least in my memory.

As we drove to the Hilton, pain was setting in. My bladder was about to spill out my body. I kept repeating, “I don’t care where we stay as long as I can pee!”

After Gene left a series of frustrated voicemails for our renters, they finally called us back with all the correct information on how to get into the gate and the condo. Gene was getting frustrated with the valet now; he almost lost his head. But the phone call came at the right moment.

When we got to the condo, before doing anything else, I ran to the bathroom and peed. I don’t remember much between going to the bathroom and laying down on the couch. I didn’t bother unpacking or pulling out the bed before I was out for the night.

FAST FORWARD:

All that to say, I look back on these events, and I’m able to laugh at myself. In the moment, though, everything was highly frustrating. I flew off the handle a few times. And the trip was meant to be a vacation. . .

What I glean from this story: Emotions are so fickle. Moods are so situational. Why not choose to be grateful despite the ridiculous stressors of life?


If you’d like to see my first full week as a graduate student, the video is here.

Time Capsule: “Sleep Typing”

“Live in each moment.”

Hello, world!

Do you ever look back on your life and realize that truly you can only get a small glimpse of who you were, that somehow along the way you have become the summation of multiple people, various chapters blending and blurring?

I do.

Then again, somehow along the way, we maintain a central core, a solid medium to which we always return – constancy despite consistency.

STORY TIME:

Back in the Summer of 2010, I took a trip to Hawaii with my family. We stayed there for eleven days. And, yes, I recorded each and every individual day in blog form. I also took photos. And I took several videos with my Flipshare video camera, eventually compiling them into a single document to gift to my siblings.

Church Photo
Summer 2009 (Little Isaac wasn’t born yet.)

Funny enough, like most things in my life, the files were destroyed before I could burn them to a disk.

Why were they destroyed?

While I was in college, I broke my laptop screen (for the third time) and took my Mac to a store for reparation. When I had the screen replaced, I did not back any of my files up, despite the guy in the blue polo having asked me to do so. Thus, the tangible memories were deleted.

The potential lesson to be learned: Live in each moment, but make sure to mark the good ones – and sometimes even the bad ones.

FLASH FORWARD:

Fortunately, I did keep the stories. And for the next few blog entries, I will be recalling the days when I went to Hawaii.

[Until then, a quick summary of the Time Capsule: Justin of 2010 loved Doctor Who, Glee, traveling libraries, Pokemon, and staying up late to write.]

Please enjoy this quote from Doctor Who, an alien who sums up the coming-off and putting-on of masks and centrality of character:

“Come on, then. Take mine. Take my memories. But I hope you’ve got a big appetite because I’ve lived a long life and I’ve seen a few things. I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just me. I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman. I’ve watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things, secrets that must never be told and knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze. So come on then! Take it! Take it all, baby! Have it! You have it all!”

Time Capsule: “Myspace Breakup”

“I just don’t trust you with my life stories anymore.”

Sure, I should be more responsible.

I should be reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet right now for my Introduction to Graduate Studies course.

should have begun reading it on Saturday afternoon, but I made some different choices.

And here I am again, making some choices I may regret later. Guess we’ll see when the time comes.

Moving on: I enjoyed reading Alpha’s Journal. I enjoyed formulating my own opinions on the anonymous subject matter.

And a thought occurred to me while I was doing it: I could do this to my own writing.

STORY TIME:

Back in the Spring of 2015, back when I graduated from Bryan College with a B. S. in Theatre Arts (and a minor in Counseling Psychology), I was on – let’s call it – an emotional high, a manic episode, recovering from an extreme emotional low, a depressive state.

No, I’m not confessing that I suffer from bipolar disorder. I’m just saying that in the heat of the moment I decided to, well, heat things up in more than one way.

One night late May, I said to my mom, “Hey, can I make a bonfire in your back yard and burn all my papers from my sophomore year of high school until now?”

I have always been extremely organized when it comes to paperwork (and I’m a Collector), so I gathered together all my notes from Spanish classes, Creative Writing classes, Theatre classes, Music classes, Journalism classes, and Psychology classes – about 18 notebooks in all and at least four journals. But it didn’t stop there.

The pyromaniac in me needed to burn old cards, letters, mementos, memory after memory. Everything I had collected over the years went up in smoke.

Today I sat in my Stage Management class, regretting the decision to burn all my notes. But I guess the lesson is, “You live and you learn.” I’m someone who has to learn the hard way.

FLASH FORWARD:

Luckily for all of us, I saved my blog posts from previous blogs on my dad’s hard drive at his place, and I brought them with me to Louisiana.

So, I can write notes to my past.

Please enjoy this rendition of “Myspace Breakup,” circa 2009. It’s a brief, satirical love poem addressed to technology, and if you happen to remember my third attempt at vlogging, you’ll probably remember the time I read this in front of the camera.

TIME CAPSULE:

This is what happens when I force myself to stay up so late, but I have no reason to wake up at a certain time tomorrow. I actually posted this on Myspace. It holds all my true feelings about Myspace in it:

“I don’t like to blog on Myspace. It doesn’t feel completely right. Actually, nothing feels right with Myspace anymore. I’m sorry, Myspace, but I’ve found others that love me for who I am: Facebook, Blogspot, YouTube, and Twitter. You’re just too immature for me, now. We can stay friends, but I just don’t trust you with my life stories anymore. Blogspot gets me. She understands. . . It might actually be a he, but I don’t mind, really. I can tell Blogspot everything. Granted, I don’t talk to Blogspot much these days, but I’m trying. With Facebook, I feel the happiest, way happier than I was with you. I update her, or him, at least seven times a day. We like the same things, and we have the same friends. Facebook makes things much simpler. I know that we have all of those memories – my pictures – but I could just as easily save them on my Flash Drive. I named it, but I forgot the name. Anyways, with YouTube I can be more outgoing, and things are more public without me feeling like I’m being stalked. Twitter has all the qualities of a wonderful listener. You just don’t. I wish I could make things the way they used to be, but I can feel the strain on our relationship. I hope you understand.

It’s over with love,
Justin M. Jones

P.S. If you don’t change, I’m afraid that I’ll have to take my things and leave for good. There will be no friendship at all.”