After attending Kindergarten at the prestigious Shelley Elementary in American Fork, Utah, on a finger painting scholarship, I knew that I was going to be great. After all, I was the "Gator's Student of the Month", had one week of perfect attendance, and got two gold stars for my finger painting titled "Monkey Wielding the Flaming Sword of Doom While Riding on the Back of a Majestic Unicorn". Catchy title I know. The original masterpiece is hanging in the Smithsonian and is guarded nightly by Brunden...if you don't know who Brunden is, I don't have time for you. If you can't see the monkey, the flaming sword, or a unicorn then you obviously don't have any imagination at all, and I feel sorry for you.
Needless to say, art is in my blood.
After Kindergarten, I held the world in my hands. So, growing up, I had some huge aspirations. After all, my parents always told me that I could be anything I wanted to be. Now, that is one load of crap that I won't tell my boys. It gives false hope, because no matter how hard I worked, I could never be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It just wasn't in the cards for me. A GI Joe was a possibility, maybe even a Thundercat, but a Ninja Turtle was out of reach. So was a Transformer! No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't change into a cement truck. That's right, I am the guy that chooses to transform into a cement truck, and why not?
Looking back on it now, I couldn't grow that thick of a moustache, so GI Joe was out of the question.
With that, I changed my aspirations, and they were huge. That's right, I was a real go-getter. I aspired to beat Super Mario Bros. 3 on Nintendo without using a warp whistle. I know what you are thinking..."Justin, that is absolutely crazy". But, I am a rebel gamer...that's how I do things. So, after countless hours of smashing goombas, kicking turtle shells, and sliding down green pipes, I completed my goal and felt like Leonardo DiCaprio when he screamed, "I am the King of the World". PS: I am still awaiting the check from James Cameron for stealing my line and using it in Titanic. I vividly remember standing on my couch, the box fan pointed at my face, arms spread, and screaming that same line after I saved Princess Peach from Bowser's evil grasp. And, this was far before 1999. They owe me a piece of the pie.
My aspirations didn't stop there, even though they could have after achieving such a lofty goal which I still put it on my resume in the skills section...Completion of Super Mario Bros. 3 without using a single warp whistle. More often than not, it really "WOWS" the person hiring. After my Mario exploits, as completed as I felt, I knew there had to be more to this little thing we call life.
With Mario completed and my hopes of being a Transformer, GI Joe, Thundercat, or Ninja Turtle dashed, I had to find other avenues. Who knew that a trip to Disneyland would change my aspirations. One night while waiting in line for the ride Pirates of the Caribbean, it clicked. I could be a pirate; a swashbuckling, scurvy sea dog, pillaging and plundering the Seven Seas. I could hunt treasure and become the most notorious pirate in history. As these thoughts were crossing my mind, I glimpsed a Chinese man holding up a multi-colored light saber in the air and walking swiftly towards Splash Mountain. The light saber gleamed like a beacon, a lighthouse, leading the way. On his heels trailed what appeared to be a nation of Chinese followers. That was it, I could be a tour guide. So, there I was, at the age of 8, deadlocked on whether I would be a pirate or a tour guide in the future.
For those of you that know me, you know I never became a pirate due to the fact I get seasick and cannot even ride a Waverunner at Lake Mead without vomiting. And, the tour guide thing didn't pan out. It seems Asians want to follow Asians...who knew? All the time spent honing my skills was wasted or so I thought.
I tell you that long winded story to get us to the point I actually want to share. Sorry, it takes me a while to get there sometimes.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment that you will never forget?
We all have. In some, we are embarrassed for ourselves. In others, we are embarrassed for someone we love. And, sometimes, we are just embarrassed and we aren't sure why.
Funny thing about pregnant women, they have to urinate all the time. They need the restroom early and often. When the urine is ready to flow, it is now or never. Since this is our first pregnancy, I am still learning. I wasn't prepared. Being an Eagle Scout, you would think I would follow the motto of "Be Prepared", but I didn't. And, the result was urine on the floor of Aisle 6 of Hobby Lobby. This unfortunate accident lead me to utilize the skills I developed in pirating and tour guiding.
Once again, I had a mission. For the next two days, I wandered around stores and restaurants in Boulder City, Henderson, and Las Vegas. I never purchased anything. I was just the creepy guy walking in places with a notebook jotting down who knows what on a pad of paper. I went to Applebee's, Michael's, Wal-Mart, Target, Baby 'R' Us, McDonald's, Five Guys (may have purchased something there), and countless other places. All in the name of not having urine spilled on Aisle 6 again.
At this point, I know where every bathroom is in seven zip codes. I can tell you where the nearest bathroom is to your current location at anytime. I can tell you how many paces it takes to reach said bathroom and let you know how many stalls it has. I can tell you what type of toilet paper they use and give you a cleanliness rating from 1-10. At his point, I am prepared. No more urine will be spilled on my watch...at least not for another 10 weeks or so...
From now on "X" marks the stall.
PS: I may or may not have prejuried myself regarding urine on the floor at Hobby Lobby. At this point, my lawyers have instructed me to plead the 5th.