My Possessions #11 - My Laser Pointer.
During my first astronomy class at UNT, in a lab about constellations, one of the lab assistants was having difficulty pointing out a particular star to the rest of us, so he pulled out his laser and said “It’s right there”, as a bright beautiful beam of green light shot into the sky. Needless to say, I was amazed.
I immediately started researching lasers. I spent all night looking at videos of stronger and stronger lasers. (There’s some really crazy stuff out there, fyi). And I ended up buying a 5MW green astronomy laser, which is shockingly cheap.
5MW is the strongest laser you can legally own in the U.S. without a permit, but you can get this 1W laser for $300 and be put on an FBI watchlist, which is understandable since it’s pretty much a real-life lightsaber. You could still be the first person in human history to rob a bank with a laser!
Sometimes my friend Parker and I will stand on my balcony and shine it in front of people walking by. There seem to only be two reactions; utter confusion or determination not to react. From my balcony I can even shine it on the buildings downtown, and you can see the laser bounce off the buildings.
Seriously, lasers are fun.
Possessions #12 - Aubrey’s Slinky.
Last summer, when my girlfriend at the time, Aubrey, came to visit me in my new apartment, she brought me a slinky as a housewarming gift. I chuckled, and said thank you, thinking it was an awfully strange and delightful choice for a housewarming gift.
The very next weekend, whens he came to visit me, she broke up with me.
I still play with the slinky every now and then, and show people how if you put your ear on it and drop the other end to the ground, it sounds like a laser battle.
Possessions #13 - My Percy Sledge Cassette.
The day that Aubrey broke up with me, I had this epic weekend planned for us. As she pulled up, I walked out to her car, opened her door, and handed her some flowers. That’s when I noticed she was crying, and she said “We need to talk.”
When we got up to my apartment, and started to talk, my computer was still playing music on shuffle. At that point “When A Man Loves A Woman” started to play, just as she said “I think we need to break up”. It was hilariously depressing. She even asked me if I planned that. To make matters worse, as I was giving her a kiss goodbye, Jack Black’s cover of “Let’s Get It On” started to play.
So when I was at Thrift Town, and saw Percy Sledge’s Greatest Hits, starting with “When A Man Loves A Woman”, I had to buy it, as a reminder of what a cruel sense of humor my computer’s shuffle can have.
I guess it could have been worse, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” could have come on.
Possessions #14 - Gan’s Piggy Bank.
Several years ago, my grandmother, Gan, gave me this piggy bank from the early 60’s. She didn’t even know how interested I was with the space age, she just wanted to get rid of it.
If you pull the little red plane back on the rocketship, and put a coin in front of it, when you hit a button, it launches the coin into the moon. It doesn’t always work, which seems odd, considering it only has to travel about half an inch.
The problem is, it doesn’t open. She said I’d get the key for Christmas. I imagine that meant I’d get the key when she found it. That was four years ago. Now I only put coins in it to show people how it launches. There must be $10 trapped in there.
Possessions #15 - Nathan’s Tarantula Book.
My friend Nathan let me borrow this book. I was excited to read it, because that was back when I thought Bob Dylan was a genius. After getting through the foreword and opening chapter, I realized it was utter nonsense. Beautiful nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless.
So I decided to go through it, highlighting all the phrases that struck me most, completely forgetting it wasn’t my copy. For a few months, I titled most of my photos after those phrases.
Crystal Jukebox, The Heart of Light, Young Sensitive Dignity, Furious Yesterday, Erratic Purpose, Foxy Eyes of Abilene, Cut Throat High & Low, Symbol Squawking, Her Constant Foe, Dead As Their Legends, Bourgeois Ghosts, You Lazy Siren, Wonder Blazing, Zulu Sayings, My Worried Mind, Eyes That Leave You, Pure as Visions, A Man Called Simply That, A Thousand Sonnets, The Incredible Fall Apart, Nowhere Diminishing, Curious Belonging, Thermometer Dropping, The Going Daylight, and A Mad Pulse Harkening.
Some of my favorites I haven’t gotten to use yet are: Bones & Bygones, Nymph of No Conscience, Unimaginative Sleep, Wandering Apollo, Oh Hospitable Grave, A Tattletale Heart, Future Treason, Nothing Resembling Anything, Raw Glory, Blond Dynamite, Warm & Worthlessly Wild, Stolen Wanted Posters, and King of Your Kind.
One sentence I love is “if youre going to send me something, send me a key - i shall find the door where it fits, if it takes me the rest of my life”
Once Nathan saw what I was doing, he said I could keep it. Now it sits by my computer, and every so often, when I need to think of a title, I’ll flip through the book.
Possessions #16 - My Birthday Whiskey.
On my 21st birthday, my friend Nathan drove up to Denton for my party. He brought the whiskey his girlfriend had recently bought him for his 21st birthday, and we went around buying more booze so everyone could get thoroughly drunk.
I’ve already written about that night here.
I kept the bottle as a souvenir. And I’m glad I did. Maker’s Mark is undoubtedly my favorite alcohol, and the bottle looks nice in my room.
Possessions #17 - My Dad’s Hammer.
When I was little, my dad started his own construction company, Standards Construction. I still remember him driving me to pre-school in his work van. My brother and I would play in the back with all the hammers, saws, and various tools, and my dad would laugh as he dropped us off, watching other parents unbuckle their kids from their safety seats.
Quite often my dad would ask my brother and I to help build something with him. When we did, I would always grab this hammer. It’s an old hammer, and a bit smaller than normal, but I really like the weight of it.
With this hammer, I’ve built skating ramps, movie sets, lemonade stands, I’ve hung frames throughout the house, I’ve repaired bookshelves, and helped with the addition to my house.
Possessions #18 - My First Cigar.
The day I turned 18, I tried to think of all the things I could do with my new-found adult privileges. Buy cigars, porn, lottery tickets, guns, go out and vote. But due to poor planning and low funds, all I ended up doing was going to Smokies next to Ridglea Theater and buying a cigar.
The guy at the smoke shop was really rude because he could tell I had no idea what I was buying. I just picked it because it looked nice and came in a glass case. It was more that 2 years later when I finally tried a cigar, and even then it took me about 4 or 5 cigars before I finally got the hang of it. Now I tend to smoke them at parties or special occasions. My favorites are Rocky Patel’s Vintage 1990 (that year in particular, because that’s the year I was born), Arganese (because it’s a light and dark wrapper spiraled around each other, so you get both tastes), and Marker’s Mark (because it’s dipped in whiskey to give it a unique flavor).
P.S. I actually spent most of my 18th birthday getting mad about all the places I could have trespassed. If I got caught, it’d all be wiped off my record on my 18th birthday.
Possessions #19 - My Red Converse.
In 6th grade, I used to complain to everyone how much Converse were a waste of money. They’re just a little bit of canvas, and an inch of rubber. It costs them like a nickel to make, and you buy them for $40. Nonsense!
Well, last year while I was looking for some proper boots, I saw a pair of red converse on sale for $15. Fifteen dollars! It was such a good deal, and Converse are such classic shoes, I bought them right there.
The problem was I couldn’t really wear them around anyone I went to middle school with, or I’d never hear the end of it. While they’re not particularly comfortable, nor easy to put on, they tend to look nice, and I enjoy matching my clothes with them.