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I can't believe I'm still awake. I didn't get a good rest last night and was tired all day. My aunt called me tonight to firm up plans for Friday night... and it's made me nervous. Hopefully posting this will ease my worries, slow my brain, and put me to sleep.

When I was a little kid I would sit on the floor listening to my records. I loved lots of records for different reasons. I loved Suppertramp "Breakfast in America" because the silly look the lady on the cover had on her face. But my favorite record was Styx "The Paradise." I loved the fact that the record wasn't just a black record, it had a ornate design that changed color. I loved the art work, and I really loved that I understood the album. I knew why the paradise was shiny and new on the front and worn down and closed on the back. The first song was about the grand opening and the last was the closing. I had every Styx album but this was my favorite.

The reason I had all of these Styx records at such a young age was my Aunt Denise and Uncle Rick worked as sound Engineers for A&M records. So we got tons of albums, including everything by the Carpenters. At that age I didn't appreciate the Carpenters at all.

As the Eighties came along technology changed and A&M records laid off all of their sound engineers to make room for the new and cheaper computer literate engineers. So my aunt and uncle moved from their suburban-like Hollywood home to Fresno. I still have no idea why they moved there of all places. I felt especially bad for my poor cousin Ryan. He was a few years younger than me and when my parents shipped me off one summer to keep him company I experienced the true hell Fresno can be. There were no kids in Ryan's neighborhood to play with, there was nowhere to go. I went into shock when I found out there was no place to buy candy from. I was sure I was in hell.

Ryan had always been a smart kid. I knew that summer he was smarter than I was even though I was at least three or four years older than him. He somehow hacked the Texas Instruments computer to give us 99 lives in game Gauntlet. By the end of the summer we had beaten every dungeon. The lack of challenges and things to do had a very bad effect on Ryan. He became spoiled, difficult and trouble seeking. It didn't help when my aunt and uncle decided to adopt another child when he was in Jr High School. I couldn't believe it when I heard Ryan probably wasn't going to graduate high school because he wasn't showing up and when he did he was just causing problems.

I haven't seen Ryan since he was seven. I have only met his older brother once since he learned how to speak. When my mom showed me a picture of this man standing next to my father, towering over him, I asked, "Who is that huge man?" "That's Jonathan, isn't he big for thirteen!" she said as if the fact that this 13 year old who is seven feet tall was something I should have known about. I guess I just lost track of my moms side of the family since they never came to visit and I sure didn't want to go back to Fresno.

My mom told me about how my Aunt Denise had brought Jonathan down to a comic convention for his birthday and because he was doing so well in school. I was elated to hear the words Comics and then honor student describing his interests. Then my mom told me he was into punk music, I cringed as I thought of Avril. I was relieved an impressed when I heard that he was into the old school punk. Dead Kennedys, TSOL, Angry Samoans, Storm Troopers of Death, and Black Flag. I told my mom to have Jonathan make me a wish list and I would get him some music.

The list I got was two pages long. It gave me great amusement to read the titles of some of the albums. I'm sure most of them would be really hard to find in Fresno. But with my own personal shopper at Amoeba Records here in San Francisco, I got him about 20 albums delivered to me at a fraction of the price. I mailed them off to Jonathan, feeling like a circle had been completed, just like "The Paradise" album.

When Jonathan got his music I think he actually peed his pants he was so excited. He just kept blubbering on the phone about how I was the coolest person on the planet. He seemed to be under the false impression that I was also really into this music. I had my phase but I was much more of an Anthrax fan- they were the true leaders of Rock Rap. "I'm the man" is still the funniest song I have ever heard!

Tonight my Aunt and Jonathan are coming into San Francisco and we have made plans go out to dinner. I suggested German. Jonathan sounded really excited and that just made me even more worried. I know he has built me up to be someone I am not. I'm sure he will be cool with his big gay music loving cousin who can talk about Comics, AD&D and some punk music but I'm still worried. Because while I don't even really know the kid I'm proud of him. I love that he is a geek just like me.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
You have nothing to be worried about Monkey.
I'm sure you'll do just fine. Just be your normal self. That guy wiith a kid inside who loves to come out and play. LOL

Have fun.

Jan. 22nd, 2005 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: You have nothing to be worried about Monkey.
I just got back from dinner and you were right, I had nothing to worry about. I had a wonderful evening.
Jan. 23rd, 2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
Re: You have nothing to be worried about Monkey.
Dude. I knew you'd be AOK! How could anyone NOT have a good time with you. You are one awesome person.


Jan. 21st, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you'll have a blast. It's a shame about your other cousin. I have one of those in my family as well, haven't seen him in 20 years.
Jan. 22nd, 2005 06:46 am (UTC)
Thanks, I did have a blast. I'm actually sad they are leaving tomorrow morning.
Jan. 21st, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
It's a shame there isn't a show at Gilman or something that he could check out while in the area.
Jan. 22nd, 2005 06:47 am (UTC)
He is still just a wee cub... he just tuned 17. I'll have to post what happened when I get a chance.
Jan. 22nd, 2005 10:39 am (UTC)
At Gilman you can be a kid, there's only a snack bar...no beer!
Jan. 21st, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
What a nice story!
Jan. 21st, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
i also have cousins on my mom's side that i haven't seen in over 20 years. one of them was breast feeding the last time i saw him and now my mom is talking with him about the in's and out's of being a psychologist (he's a 3rd year psych major at the university of saskatchewan). i've always wanted to get to know them (there's 4 of them) and every time my mom talks about them i cringe inside because i wonder what they'd think of me.

i'm sure your cousin will really like you and have a blast. afterall... i've never met you in real life (although i'd really like to someday) and i think you're absolutely fantastic!

btw, i totally agree. fresno is a freakin hole...
Jan. 22nd, 2005 06:55 am (UTC)
Before I left I read your post and thought to myself... but you're gay and not from Fresno. But I was worrying for nothing I had a great night and my cousin is the coolest ever. On his shirt he has a pink female symbol and inside the O is the black power fist! How cool is that? I was really impressed by him. What a great night.
Jan. 22nd, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
God... I LOVE LOVE LOVE Vinyl... especially 80's vinyl!!! i have that supertramp vinyl, too. hah. the one with "goodbye stranger" right? anyway.. .my favorites are A-HA and OMD, HOWARD JONES, DEPECHE MODE (to name a few) and of course DURAN DURAN and MADONNA. i have all of their singles, 45's, 12's, etc. I wish you could visit! anyway... i think you are super cool for staying up listening to old records.. i do the same thing!

Jan. 22nd, 2005 07:01 am (UTC)
Who knows maybe someday I will get down to Texas. Staying up late listing to old records sounds really nice to me. for some reason I think we would end us listening to "Your a cruel one Mr. Grinch" on green vinyl a few times.
Jan. 22nd, 2005 03:26 am (UTC)
I like the way you introduce what's happening in your present by putting in the back story. I hope German food in San Francisco doesn't equate to what it is here. We have something called The Rheinlander which has a Bavarian motif and features wandering musicians in bavarian costumes with accordians,ACCORDIANS!. and they come around to your table and sing German songs most annoyingly. The food is good though.
Jan. 22nd, 2005 07:05 am (UTC)
They loved the restaurant. It's my favorite restaurant in the city. It is much more like a restaurant in Germany. great food, loud happy conversations and you are very likely to be seated at a table with people you don't know. There is no cheesy German Oktoberfest polka at all. Just a real German Atmosphere, great food, good beer and people having a good time.
Jan. 25th, 2005 03:27 am (UTC)
Hi! Ran across your journal, stopped to read it, and decided to keep reading :-)

Good to read that everything went well :-)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )