Monthly Archives: August 2009

1. Jim Holmes

Who didn’t see this one coming. It is no surprise that Jim tops the countdown of most influential positive impacts on my life. It is not a surprise to Jim, it is not a surprise to me, and it is not a surprise to anyone that knows him or I. I have known Jim since we were in 6th grade, but we have been best friends since 8th grade, totaling 7 years and counting. As for the impact, allow the story to begin.

Unlike the other pieces where I listed each person’s greatest impact on me at the end of the post, I am introducing it first in this one. There are a few reasons for this, the first being it is a long, detailed explanation. Another reason is because telling the story this way will allow my memory to be tapped and allow me to remember more things now, as opposed to saving some for later.

Every person over probably the age of 15 has a best friend, whether you have been that way since you were 2 years old or maybe you just found that friendship after turning 20, you have someone. For me, Jim has elevated what a best friend is. Most people can say that the next step above having someone as your best friend is considering them a brother or a sister to you, but it is not that way with Jim and I. I do not consider him a brother to me, I consider it to be somewhat of a different level. Brothers can be extremely alike and still not be totally alike. This is why I do not consider us to be brothers. I did not know in 8th grade that without either of us ever changing our personalities, that they would be the exact same. Of course it is possible to have the same sense of humor as someone, the same likes and dislikes as them, the same hobby preferences as them, but how often is someone the exact same as you? How often does someone find the same exact things funny that you do, and vice versa, finding things that annoy you also annoying to them? We both will tell you, and I can speak for him, that we would not act the same if we were paid, so it is remarkable that we are one in the same. Allow a few examples.

During our senior year of high school in English class, our teacher Mrs. Collacchio, would call on one of us. Since we both sat in the back of the room, we were somewhat out of sight. We decided that on a whim, one of us could answer for the other, and so we did. Not once did Mrs. Collacchio ever question who was talking, revealing later on that we sounded the exact same, both in tone and in terms of the words and phrases that we used. The teacher that replaced her during our senior year, Mr. Moffat, later admitted the same thing.

During the entirity of high school, our names became synonomous with each other. I swear whenever I heard a story about one of us, the phrase “Jim and Rob” or “Rob and Jim” was always used. Whenever a prank went on during school, oftentimes we were both called down to the office as the first suspects. It became commonplace to be called out of class, walk down the hallway into the office and see Jim standing there and asking him “What are we here for?” His response was always “I have no idea.” That’s the way it was.

From the beginning of high school, we adopted what I’ll call the “Jackass” mentality. This idea derives its name from the popular television show commonly shown on MTV. We began to start doing “stunts” or dumb little things for laughs, and sooner or later it just took off. We became the equivalent of George and Fred Weasley, except instead of selling prank materials, we provided the pranks ourselves for free. We became a form of entertainment whenever we chose to. Our resume includes, but is certainly not limited to:

  1. Bringing the entire cafeteria to silence and then announcing that the New York lottery is now 7 billion dollars.
  2. “Party Boying” Mr. Kenny as he walked down the hallway.
  3. Me scoring a goal in soccer outside during gym class then going to the center of the field and celebrating and Jim blindsiding me by plowing me directly into the ground. Anyone that has seen the video of Terrell Owens doing this on the Dallas Cowboys star at midfield will know what we were mimicking.
  4. Creating the Mini Johanemans floor hockey team along with Clayton Brooks, Marcus Jackson, and Dillon Nugent and being within one goal and one annoyance away from the semi-finals. Regardless, we were the fan favorites that night.
  5. Creating a “scavenger hunt” similar to the one from the Jackass show. It featured random acts that had to be performed and as they were, they were checked off, The team completing the most challenges won at the end of the day. Too bad it was cut short.
  6. Drawing an enormous Mr. Kenny on Mr. Wright’s blackboard and featuring him in leopard skin briefs. Luck was with us that day, as Mr. Kenny came in to converse with Mr. Wright and noticed himself drawn there, to which he smirked.
  7. Buying Mr. Kenny a bottle of Rogain and placing it on his desk only to receive the response “I’ll give this to my brother, he uses this stuff.”
  8. Jim getting his lunch priveleges removed for an entire week, creating a situation where he had to have me or someone else from the table get his lunch for him. Reason for this: excessive use of the “F” word directly to the lunch ladies.
  9. Shooting arrows directly into the woods during archery in gym class.
  10. Prank calling Wingdale Hardware along with Clayton and a few others and being one “yes” away from being arrested and taken out of school. The “yes” refers to the fact that the owner of the store had the choice of whether to press charges or not, luckily he chose not to.
  11. Scoring a goal in floor hockey and completely tearing my shirt off Hulk Hogan style and being told to change and leave immediately.
  12. Playing a form of tag in Health class and Jim deciding to avoid all tags by running 100 feet out of bounds and then diving into a pine tree to conceal himself. He still sports the scars.
  13. My personal favorite. During 10th grade English class, we read Othello and for the duration of the semester, Jim voiced Othello during the readings and I voiced Iago. We always read the characters using different voices ranging from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson, rastafarian, deep black male, little girl, old lady, even singing one verse to the beat of Blues Clues. It got so good that when it came time for new people to speak the parts, they refused to accept them, saying that they wanted Jim and I to continue because of the voiceovers we used.

The list goes on. I swear every day has the potential to put something else on the resume, if you will. Who knows what will happen next.

In any case, many of the other stories on this countdown had a beginning and an ending, but this one does not have an ending. There is no final opinion or statement or “if only we still spoke” type of phrase. This is the story on the countdown that truly could go on forever. Some others may be longer than this one in terms of words, but in terms of anecdotes or longevity, this story I am still living. I do have a conclusion, however.

Jim Holmes does one thing right that every person should do in order to be the best possible friend that they can be, that being always being honest. I can honestly say, there have been times when Jim told me something that would normally offend a friend, an example being “_____ (girlfriend’s name) is a bitch.” That does not offend me, I think everybody should speak like that. It wasn’t as if he made that up as his own opinion, in that instance he was right. I want friends in this world and in my life that tell me whatever they think, even if they KNOW I do not want to hear it.

That, to me, is true friendship.

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Things That I Have Observed/Learned This Summer.

  1. Dating someone for 3 years means something. You can tell yourself and others that it didn’t but deep down, you know it did.
  2. After telling myself that I would never date someone that smoked cigarettes, I caved in and granted someone the exception. That will never happen again.
  3. My parents and 18 year old brother despise me because I strive to be everything that they are not: successful. Out of those three, I only have a space in my life for my mother. If she ever changed and stopped defending my brother and father’s explicable actions and lifestyle, I would gladly resume a relationship with her.
  4. Girls make better friends for me than guys overall, but there are guy friends that are irreplacable to me.
  5. I can work an entire summer from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for absolutely no wages and love every minute of it.
  6. I have slept in the same bed as Clayton Brooks more times (8) than I have with a girl (0) this summer.
  7. Even after not talking to some of them for years, many of my old, true friends came back to me, and I am thankful for that.
  8. It took me 20 summers to finally achieve an even tan, chest and back included.
  9. Of all the girls I have ever kissed, only one of them was actually good at kissing back.
  10. I overanalyze everything.
  11. In the past, including this summer, I have allowed people to waste my time. I have learned to heed before walking into such scenarios again.
  12. I have gotten into relationships that I should have stayed out of.
  13. You can be told in one sentence that you are the nicest, sweetest, kindest guy and that you are an extremely good boyfriend in every way and be broken up with in the very next sentence.
  14. I went on my first roller coaster this summer and can honestly say there were times when I closed my eyes. After awhile, I got the hang of it.
  15. In two months time you can go from having everything you could ever want to having almost nothing at all.
  16. I have been driven and tempted to do things involving girls that I tell people I would never do but the good Rob in me always prevents it or backs out at the last second.
  17. I can never be someone that I am not.
  18. I can bike 60 miles in four and a half hours in 95 degree weather with 35 ounces of water just because I am bored.
  19. This summer was the first time I ever cried in front of a male friend. I am absolutely not embarassed by it, he understands why I was hurt.
  20. I got my first tattoo this summer and unlike most people I know, have never once showed it off.
  21. Going to and being in college is extremely important to me and I am proud of my academic accomplishments.
  22. After telling myself that the youngest person I would date would have to be no more than 3 years younger than me, I faltered and dated a 16 year old. This will also never happen again.
  23. I can never hate a person. There are currently three people that I do not care about, but I can never bring myself to hate them.
  24. After going 0-9 in my co-ed softball league last year and starting this season 0-1, it felt good to finally win a game the following week. I waited 10 career games for a win, but it could not have come with me being on a better team.
  25. I achieved my “15 minutes of fame,” so to speak in game #6 of this season when I hit a walk-off, game winning, 2 run home run into the woods and was greeted at home plate by my teammates, who doused me in water and cheers.
  26. Only one person has ever calmed me down and taken my overly competitive edge away by telling me to “calm down” and rubbing my back. They no longer have that affect on me.
  27. I have had more girlfriends from June 30th, 2009 to early August 2009 (2) than I had from June 18th, 2006 to June 21st, 2009 (1).
  28. I have a brilliant baseball mind and would make a great manager someday.
  29. I have seen a blind person play the piano better than alot of people who have sight. This is not an insult to him in any way, he plays marvelously.
  30. After promising myself at the end of my senior year of high school that I would not lose my physical fitness, I am now in the best physical condition of my life.
  31. Once on a bike ride of mine, I happened to drive by the cemetary in Dover and remembered that my great-grandfather was buried there. On a whim, I turned in, walked to his grave after having remembered where it was when my mother visited it with me as a child, and wished him a happy belated birthday. I have no idea why I did that.
  32. I am competitive in everything that I do, whether it be playing basketball at the local park, competing against myself when I bike challenging courses, or doing a Sudoku puzzle.
  33. Each time I write, I provide everyone who knows the link to my site a looking glass into my personal life, and I don’t mind it. I love sharing things that the average person keeps within.
  34. I am truly a nice guy, in so many ways.
  35. Life goes on, even if the things that you want to happen don’t work out your way.
  36. Driving a car is not only very easy for me, I find it completely relaxing as an activity in general.
  37. The only thing on the Taco Bell menu that I eat and like are the bean burritos.
  38. It has rained entirely too much this summer.
  39. This summer has been both the best and the worst of my life.
  40. “Everyone deserveS a chance”

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