A Very Special Snazzy Suits Column

… In which I recall memories of my dad

Hi, everybody! Sorry for being late on my deadline again, but this has been a bit of a weird week for me.

As some may know, this is actually my freshman year of college as well as my first year away from home. So this is the first occasion of me missing my dad’s birthday on account of me not being present with my family; compound that with a slight cold and last week left me feeling a bit homesick.

So – both as a means of providing catharsis and as a special gift to my father – I’ve decided to do something special this week. Presented here in no particular order are 49 fond memories/moments that I have of/share with my dad, in honor of his nearly half-century of living. (Hat Tip: The Cosby Show).

1. When he told me what 36-24-36 meant when I was 12 (I liked The Commodore’s “Brick House” as a kid).

2.  When he stumbled upon my sister’s recording of The Naked Brothers Band on our DVR with the display showing it as “The Naked Brothers.”

3. When he was able to get a piece of soap out of my eye through mystic Dad magic.

4. When he told me his favorite cartoon character was Foghorn Leghorn.

5. When I explained to him what a hipster was.

6. When my family and I watched Inception.

7. When he totally forgot he saw Inception only a year after we had seen it together.

8. When he took me to see The Terminal.

9. When we were at a Halloween-themed county fair and he dangled me above a pit filled with green fog and animatronic monsters.

10. When he took my sister and me to “take-your-child-to-work” day.

11. When I was really excited to eat the freeze-dried, packaged army food that he brought home (they were essentially sub-par crackers, but I still cherished them).

12. Whenever he took my sister and me to Rock Island arsenal to play around on the office chairs; or rather when my sister and I took it upon ourselves to play around with the office chairs when he took us to Rock Island.

13. When he showed me a piece of shrapnel that he collected from an IED that was set off beside him while he was on a tour of duty in the Middle East.

14. When I truly became aware of his mortality after he had shown me the shrapnel piece.

15. That one time he was playing on my pogo stick and did a huge pratfall.

16. The first time he nearly cut me with his chin stubble.

17. When he went into my Nana and Papa’s pool with jean shorts and I thought he was a rebel.

18. When I came to visit his tiny apartment that he had been living in while stationed in Georgia.

19. When he came home from a bout of roller skating with blood patches all over his body (he thought it would be a good idea to take on a steep hill near our neighborhood).

20. When, on our way to the hospital to treat the blood patches, the only real emotion he displayed was mild annoyance.

21. When I found out the reason he had staples in his head were due to running into a wall and falling on the floor.

22. When I found out that he used to have a “skinny frame.”

23. When I looked at old pictures of him in his photo album and didn’t recognize who he was.

24. When I found the perfect word to describe his head – square.

25. When he spoke at my elementary school about his job and I was the coolest kid in the room for a day.

26. Whenever he took me to work out with him and we got crispy chicken wraps from McDonald’s afterwards.

27. When he chuckled after I sang the name-dropping parts of Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman,” because we had heard it THAT many times on the radio.

28. When he made a sharp left turn to get into a parking lot when an oncoming car was really close. I laugh about it now, but I think it was the closest I’ve ever come to having my life flash before my eyes.

28. When I had a dream that he died and I woke up with tears in my eyes (I was 17).

30. When I had cut my sister’s hair and realized that it was possible for me to get into trouble.

31. When he had corrected a paper about all the times he wasn’t able to papers while he was stationed in Iraq.

32. When I gave an impromptu speech at age 10 during the going-away party his co-workers were throwing for him.

33. When he taught me to shave.

34. When he tried to teach me to drive when I was 10.

35. When I knew without fail that he would always park in the back of a parking lot to avoid anybody bumping into his car.

36. When I saw how much his body clenched up whenever he watched Fear Factor

37. When we were singing Afroman’s “Because I Got High” in his old BMW – despite me not knowing what the subject matter was about.

38. When I sang “Because I Got High” to my nana and she fussed at him.

39. Whenever I got into theatrics whenever he played Brian McKnight’s “Start Back at One.”

40. Come to think of it, when I got into theatrics whenever he played “Brick House.”

41. When he was absolutely astounded that I used the word “ordinary” in its proper context (I got it from “Rugrats”).

42. His black leather gloves that he used to wear in his old, brown truck.

43. When I used to call out “Oh Six” in response to his “Ay Phi,” with absolutely no idea as to what any of it meant – other than that it made both of us happy.

44. When he told me to ride my bike when I was without helmet. I ended up with two chipped teeth.

45. When he had took my family, cousins, and me to visit St. Jekyll Island’s fabled rope swing.

46. When I grew the slightest bit envious of my sister, who – through odd circumstances – got to go with Dad to Florida on what was apparently “the best trip ever!”

47. When he and my mom left a video-taped recording of mine and my sister’s favorite Dr. Seuss books while they were away (also, the Bernstein Bears if I recall correctly).

48. When he introduced me to Shazam! and Kung Fu.

49. And perhaps most notable – whenever family members/friends/whomever exclaim in amazement that I look just like him.

Thanks again for dropping by, everybody! With this past black history month it’s been nice reflecting on history of a large scale, but this exercise reminded me how much purpose personal history can signify. Sorry for being so sentimental, back to something different next time.

Take care.

-Chris

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RECOMMENDATION: FILMCRITHULK!

I am really glad that this is my first recommendation and that I’m writing about it now. I’ll explain why in a bit, but first a little background.

The Incredible Hulk is a towering, green, muscular, behemoth of a life form that travels around the globe causing untold destruction while doing battle with various creatures and superheroes. He has existed on Earth for at least 40 years, and is often believed to be an immortal being from another planet. In reality, Hulk is the super-powered alter-ego of a scientist who accidentally exposed himself to gamma radiation during an experiment. An exposure that might have killed any other man actually granted this scientist the uncanny ability to transform into the Hulk whenever he is riled – as if something from the mind of Robert Louis Stevenson!

It seemed as though this scientist would never be able experience a normal life again. That is until 2010, when – whether through a miracle of science or some sick joke brought on by nature – the scientist underwent a process that made Hulk his default entity while retaining most of the knowledge and mannerisms of his former-self. Hulk now operates under the banner (heh) of FILMCRITHULK!, a media-savvy writer and fellow WordPress user with considerable knowledge in film and other aspects of popular culture.

He specializes in writing insightful, contemplative, (and lengthy) essays primarily about the nature of film and how it’s perceived by the public. As per his Hulk-iness, FILMCRITHULK! has the tendency to write in all-caps. Curiously though, he is perfectly able to maintain his human persona when engaged in public speaking, such as podcasts. He also does some occasional acting-work and rocks purple shorts like nobody’s business.

 

I am particularly pleased to write about FILMCRITHULK! as my first recommendation because he was one of the deciding factors for me to take my blog seriously. I actually created Snazzy Suits in July of 2011, but for one reason or other I never properly posted anything. It wasn’t until I found out about FILMCRITHULK! and read his (again, lengthy) columns that I wanted to challenge myself and write more material in faster time.

The reason why I’m glad I’m writing about FILMCRITHULK! now is because it comes in the wake of a few of his most recent columns. I think they fit what Snazzy Suits is trying to accomplish and they also happen to be my personal favorites:

SCREENWRITING 101 (Part 1) & (Part 2); and WHY YOU LOVE MOVIES.

On their own, the columns are thoroughly excellent reads that might open people to new areas of interest. But for aspiring writers and fellow movie lovers, they can provide invaluable, entertaining advice on the subject of writing, and be a great reminder of the seemingly small quirks of life that constantly connect people, respectively.

There are a lot of good things to say about FILMCRITHULK! (humorous, knowledgeable, hard-working, well-written despite the all-caps, etc.). However, one of the aspects I most admire about him is his desire to promote thoughtful, rational discussion on the internet through subject matter that he has a close relationship with. It’s a worthy pursuit and one I am aiming to practice through Snazzy Suits

In addition to the links I provided above, you can find the general expanse of his work HERE and HERE.

I wholly recommend reading his columns. If you consider yourself a film buff, want to work in the film industry, or are just looking for thoughtful material to read, I don’t think you can go wrong.

Hope I’ve been of some assistance.

-Chris

 

Endnotes:

*It’s a common complaint that the all-caps nature of FILMCRITHULK!’s work gives people a major headache. If that’s the case I would recommend using this to make it lower-case. But be warned, you might miss out on the fun of reading intelligent arguments in the Hulk’s voice.

**Also, some of his columns (and the sites his work can be found on) have some light cussing. As such, I give a rating of PG-Sophomore, meaning that mature sophomores in high school should be able to handle the reading without a problem.

***Just to be safe, let’s say PG-Junior.

****A quick side note: FILMCRITHULK! is really fun to have typed out among an otherwise standard paper. It’s like having a Dali mustache painted over your portrait.

Well- This is Awkward

Hey everyone.

Alright, I know what you’re thinking: “Two weeks into the relationship and this guy neglects his promises. I should have listened to my girlfriend Tasha and stuck with the HuffingtonPost.”

I totally get where you’re coming from. And I promise baby, I’m going to make it up to you. I have two new posts that I plan on having up by today that will hopefully show you a little more of me and broaden your interests. Plus, I have a little something special for Valentine’s Day.

Don’t give up on something you know is real. Don’t give up on us.

-With Love,

Chris

P.S. I also have a new email set-up so we can key-stroke sweet nothings to our eyes. Feel free to contact me at snazzysuits@gmail.com.