Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Mandy!

Today is my sister Mandy's 26th birthday. I still remember the first time I saw her when my mom and stepfather brought her home from the hospital and I got to hold her. I was 9 years old at the time.

A lot of young kids suck their fingers. Mandy sucked her middle and ring fingers at the same time. She used to call me "bruh bruh".

I am so glad that she was born, and to encourage her even more, I direct her to the words of Dr. Seuss's "Happy Birthday to You":

"If you'd never been born, well what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a door knob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes!
Or worse than all that... why, you might be a
WASN'T!
A Wasn't has no fun at all. No, he doesn't.
A Wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present.
But you... you ARE YOU! And now, isn't that pleasant!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Welcome to Parenthood!

I just learned that Garry and Carla, two friends I've known for a couple of years in the blogosphere who live in the UK, have recently become proud parents of a baby boy named Jarrod. From what Carla mentions, the delivery didn't exact happen the way this picture illustrates.

It happened on the same day as mine and Jennie's anniversary, to boot.

Congratulations, and welcome to Parenthood!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Baby Shark Song

Yesterday I was one of the teachers in Keisha's children's ministry class at church. Among the songs we sang about God was this one that wasn't related called "Baby Shark". It's one of those songs that has quite a hook (no pun intended), and it goes like this:

Baby shark do-do, do-do, do-do (one hand opens and closes to the beat)
Baby shark do-do, do-do, do-do (one hand opens and closes to the beat)
Baby shark

Mommy shark do-do, do-do, do-do (two flat hands open and close to the beat)
Mommy shark do-do, do-do, do-do (two flat hands open and close to the beat)
Mommy shark

Daddy shark do-do, do-do, do-do (two hands with fingers spread, open and close to the beat)
Daddy shark do-do, do-do, do-do (two hands with fingers spread, open and close to the beat)
Daddy shark

Grandma shark do-do, do-do, do-do (two fists open and close to the beat)
Grandma shark do-do, do-do, do-do (two fists open and close to the beat)
Grandma shark

Grandpa shark do-do, do-do, do-do (left and right forearms in front, open and close to the beat)
Grandpa shark do-do, do-do, do-do (left and right forearms in front, open and close to the beat)
Grandpa shark

I went for a swim, do-do, do-do, do-do (Forward swimming motions with arms, to the beat)
Went for a swim, do-do, do-do, do-do (Forward swimming motions with arms, to the beat)
Went for a swim

Saw a shark, do-do, do-do, do-do (Right hand on top of head, waving to the beat)
Saw a shark, do-do, do-do, do-do (Right hand on top of head, waving to the beat)
Saw a shark

I swam away, do-do, do-do, do-do (Backward swimming motions with arms, to the beat)
Swam away, do-do, do-do, do-do (Backward swimming motions with arms, to the beat)
Swam away

Lost my leg, do-do, do-do, do-do (hop on one leg to the beat)
Lost my leg, do-do, do-do, do-do (hop on one leg to the beat)
Lost my leg

Called 9-1-1, do-do, do-do, do-do (dial cell phone in hand to the beat)
Called 9-1-1, do-do, do-do, do-do (dial cell phone in hand to the beat)
Called 9-1-1

It's too late, do-do, do-do, do-do (finger across neck several times to the beat)
It's too late, do-do, do-do, do-do (finger across neck several times to the beat)
It's too late

Now that's the end, do-do, do-do, do-do (wave hands from center to left and right (finished sign) several times to the beat)
That's the end, do-do, do-do, do-do (wave hands from center to left and right (finished sign) several times to the beat)
That's the end
Sometimes the dumbest songs are the ones that stick with me.

So, what do you think about it?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Saturday to the Full

Saturdays usually are pretty busy, and today was no exception:

Jake Walk

This morning, after Jennie came home from work, I slept a little while longer. Then I woke up and took Jake for a walk.

When I take Jake for walks on Saturdays, we have made it a tradition to walk from our apartment to the Galbraith Food Mart and back. It winds up being a good walk, and Jake usually does his business about three times. I usually stop at the food mart and get a drink.

Today, however, I stopped at the drive-thru next door to the food mart. The main reason for this is because, when I go inside the food mart, I have to tie Jake up to the telephone pole outside, since I can't take him inside. I was able to walk Jake inside the drive-thru, and I got my drink from there.

Fun in the Sun at the Pool

When Jake and I returned home, Keisha was awake. I asked her, since Jennie was still sleeping, if she wanted to go swimming. I haven't been to the pool that much since it opened on Memorial Day - maybe three times. Keisha enthusiastically said yes, and we got ready to leave.

Since it was going to be a bright, sunny day, I made sure we loaded up on the sunscreen. She put some on my back, and I put some on hers. We made sure to get our feet, face, and ears.

When we arrived at the pool, we found a mom and her two kids already there. Other than that, we had the pool to ourselves. The water was refreshing - not too cold and not too warm.

Keisha had brought a frisbee, and we played with that for a bit. Since it floated, I went underwater a few times and came up with it on my head. I'd pretend that I didn't know what was going on, to have fun with the kids.

I also had brought a quarter, and we played hide and seek with it for a while. Neither Keisha nor Josie would go underwater, and Josie's brother Tate was wearing an inflatable vest that kept him afloat. Josie was able to slide the quarter along the bottom of the pool, over to the steps, with her feet. Then she was able to get the quarter up the bottom step with her feet. I was impressed.

Then there was a time when it appeared that I was on a one-man mission to empty the pool of all its water. I'd jump into the deep end and make a big splash, mostly with "Preacher Seats", but one time with a "Cannonball".

Home for Some Food - Physical and Spiritual

After awhile, Keisha and I returned home, changed our clothes, and ate some brunch. She had the cinnamon raisin bagel with strawberry cream cheese, and we each had a chicken pot pie. We also split the last pudding cup.

While we ate, we went through a "Sticky Situation" in this book we've been reading. It was a situation involving a boy on a camping trip, who found out he needed to do the dinner dishes. It was a pretty hefty job, and his counselor had asked the cleanup crew who wanted to be the "chief washer". We were presented with three choices. Keisha intuitively picked the right one, but we read in the Bible in John 13:3-5, in which Jesus washes the disciples' feet.

We talked about the kinds of dirty jobs around our home, in our community, and at church. We discussed the consequences of those jobs not getting done. Then, Keisha cleared the dishes - the "dirty job" she decided she wanted to do.

Turtle Talk and Nature Walk

At 2 PM Keisha and I went to Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve, which is just up the street from us. They were giving a "Turtle Talk", and there would be an interpreter there for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

The turtle talk was very interesting indeed. Afterward, Keisha and I went to the gift shop and bought our Hamilton County Park pass - it only costs $5, and it lets you get into any Hamilton County Park.

After we left the gift shop, we walked for a little bit on the trail. We stopped by the drinking fountain, and I noticed that they had a separate drinking fountain attached to it, with a spigot that led to a bowl that was obviously for pets to get a drink, too.

As we walked down the path, a woman spotted us, and she called out, "Are you Jennie's husband? I recognize her in Keisha."

It turns out that this woman went to high school with Jennie, and we'd met her and her husband about 5 years ago at a conference in Columbus for parents with deaf and hard of hearing children. She gave me her phone number, and I told her that I'd have Jennie call her when we got back home.

Reading, Watching, Snacking, Resting

When we got home, Keisha put on an Arthur video we'd checked out from the library, "Parents are from Pluto". I pulled the comforter off our bed and grabbed a pillow. Then I laid it on the floor. Before we watched the video, however, Keisha brought out the "Charlotte's Web" book we've been reading. We read a couple of chapters and then watched the video. Keisha popped some popcorn in the microwave, so we shared that, too. Along with the frozen fruit pops and cups of water she'd brought out.

Family Time at LaRosa's

After a little while, Jennie came out, after talking with her old school friend. We decided to use a LaRosa's coupon Keisha's 1st grade teacher had given her for completing the 1st grade. Jennie also brought the seasonal coupon magazine.

We decided to go to the LaRosa's on Boudinot Street. When we arrived there, I saw a plaque that mentioned that this particular store was the orginal LaRosa's that Buddy LaRosa had opened in 1954. Very impressive, as was a lot of the memorabilia throughout the store.

For example, in the men's restroom are framed copies of old menus from different time periods in the store's history. Also, along one of the walls are some cartoon salutes to local sports legends - high school, college, and otherwise.

The Johnson Family Explorers

After we ate dinner, we decided to do some exploring. I proceeded down Boudinot to Glenway. Glenway to Race. Race to Gaines. Gaines to Sheed. And so forth. We wound up driving throughout that section of Western Hills, Colerain Township, and Springfield Township. As I drove, Jennie navigated with our map, calling out street names as I would pass them.

We stopped at the Dairy Mart at Hamilton and Houston to use the restroom. Then Jennie and I got coffees while Keisha got a frozen drink. Then we proceeded home.

It was a very eventful day.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Two Words To Make You Smile

In a post where she describes how she got started blogging, Karen mentions two words that evoked a response in me:

See if you can identify those two words in this excerpt from her post:

"... she’ll get either the water weenie or the pic of me… wonder which one she’ll choose."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fish Story with a Bang - JOKE ALERT!

There was a man who fished every day and always came back with a good catch. Eventually, the game warden decided this guy must be doing something illegal. So the warden put on old clothes and made friends with the man. "I've noticed you always catch fish," the warden said. "Can I go out with you?" The fisherman shrugged. "Sure," he replied. "See you here at 5 a.m. tomorrow."

The next day, they went fishing together:

The fisherman steered his boat into a remote part of the lake, then stopped. He opened his tackle box, took out a stick of dynamite, lit the fuse and threw it into the water. After it went off, dozens of stunned fish floated to the surface.

The warden was astounded. "I caught you red-handed," he said. "I'm the game warden, and you're under arrest." The fisherman said nothing. He reached into his tackle box, took out another stick of dynamite, lit the fuse and handed it to the warden. The fisherman then asked him, "You going to talk or fish?"

Saturday, June 18, 2005

IHOP Coming to Our Neighborhood

Turn left, get pancakes

This comes from the Cincinnati Business Courier:

The family restaurant chain IHOP is moving forward with plans to build a location in Colerain Township at the former Colerain Brewing Co. site across the street from Northgate Mall.

The chain is expected to soon begin demolition of the former sports bar and be open by Christmas, said Frank Birkenhauer, assistant Colerain Township administrator. Development had been awaiting a zoning certificate that was contingent upon getting a left-hand turn lane into the facility.

"I know they build these IHOPs pretty quickly, and my guess is with the left-hand turn being constructed, demolition would take place," he said.

The restaurant will be on Colerain Avenue near Springdale Avenue. The site is owned by North American Properties, Birkenhauer said.

Colerain Brewing Co. shut down about nine months ago.
Too cool. This is just up the street from us! There used to be a Denny's next door to this location, and it was razed to become a Panera bread store. So we'll be able to get pancakes again.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Still on the Honeymoon Ten Years Later

Ten years ago at this time, Jennie and her Mom began walking down the aisle at the Arlington church of Christ in Mount Healthy, Ohio. The song was Enya's "Watermark", and I was sobbing, just as I always do at weddings.

My mom, my brother, my sister, and my step-brother had all driven up a few days beforehand. My brother, who is currently serving in the Navy, was a groomsman. My sister, who I'll always remember calling me bruh-bruh - from when she was little - was a bridesmaid.

I had handpicked the songs for our wedding about 8 months prior, before I'd even proposed to Jennie:

Earlier in the ceremony, "The Circle of Life", the opening song from one of my favorite movies of all time, "The Lion King", began. At the start of the first verse, my mom and Jennie's mom slowly walked to the front of the chapel, met, walked up to the stage, and lit some candles. Two individual candles would be used by Jennie and I to light the Unity candle; one candle was a memorial to my mom's dad - Gramps; another to Jennie's dad, who had passed away when she was 12 years old.

After the moms were seated, Enya's "Storms in Africa" began, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen made the walk to the front. No one was in a big hurry. We had not chosen a ring bearer, but we did pick a flower girl, Kelsey. She was about 3 or 4 years old, and wound up being very shy. The ushers rolled out the white paper that the bride walks on, and then we were ready for the moment.

As soon as the opening bars of "Watermark" were played, the tears just came rolling. I'm feeling emotional right now just remembering the moment. The song is so beautiful, and it was a wonderful reflection of how beautiful my lovely bride Jennie looked.

I'm glad that people were taking pictures and videotaping the event, because I wasn't that observant of everything around me. Jennie and I just kept looking at each other, listening and responding to Steve, our minister.

At one point we went to light the unity candle, and Amy Grant's "Say Once More" played. We also greeted our moms.

Then we exchanged personal vows and traditional vows. Jennie went first, reading from her handwritten note. Then it was my turn.

I chose to sing "I Will Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman as my personal vows. I'd practiced the song over and over again beforehand, but something happened to my voice from being keyed up at my wedding. If it resembled music, then it's because God somehow made it happen.

Finally, it was time to announce that we were husband and wife. I wasn't really trying to go for a world record for the longest wedding kiss, but I suppose we gave that impression.

Then, we'd chosed Michael Jackson's "Black or White" to be played as we exited. We later found out that the groomsmen had in unison put on sunglasses and a single white glove, before they walked to get there counterparts on the brides' side.

After all the guests had been dismissed, our photographer snapped this picture of us.


This was just the wedding ceremony!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Man on the Bridge - JOKE ALERT!

"I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said 'Stop! Don't do it!'

'Why shouldn't I?' he said.

'Well, there's so much to live for!'

'Like what?'

'Well... are you religious?' He said yes. I said, 'Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?'

'Christian.'

'Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ?

'Protestant.'

'Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?'

'Baptist'

'Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?'

'Baptist Church of God!'

'Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?'

'Reformed Baptist Church of God!'

'Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?'

He said, 'Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!'

I said, 'Die, heretic scum', and pushed him off. (Emo Philips)

Proof that denominationalism is not a good thing (Online Eymology Dictionary Listing for 'Denomination').

-- #53 on 100 Funniest Jokes of All Time

Monday, June 13, 2005

Have You Seen My Anonymity?

Just some thoughts:

I like this blog because I've been able to share a lot of myself here. I've made this into a public blog and have provided a forum for people to comment on things I've written.

I like this blog because it has let me describe events from my past and look into the future. I've found looking at how people have come here and what things people have been reading interesting.

Yet I realize that I've lost anonymity. Google "Dan Johnson, Jr." or "Journey Inside My Mind", and you'll more than likely find me at or near the top. Those who know me personally can learn all about me here. In the past I've welcomed that, but there are times when I would like to be more anonymous.

Foul Mood

Mood: foul

I've been in a foul mood for much of the day. I'm feeling down, and I haven't quite pinpointed the reason(s) and wanted to work at getting myself out of it:

Depression is here, at least momentarily. When I'm depressed, I feel easily irritated by petty things. I tend to lash out at those things I feel that I can control. The things I recognize as beyond my control I tend to ignore.

Sometimes, to prevent myself from lashing out, I just go into my cave, emotionally. In the past, I've taken my anger and frustration out on myself with self-destructive behavior.

Self-mutilating behavior. Like picking at scabs or creating new ones from old scars. Somehow the pain felt from doing that brings relief from the emotional pain.

I've prayed and am looking for other ways of dealing with how I feel. I may go to bed early tonight.

Voir le sujet - Je veux et tu vas me le chercher

I spotted the link to this chain game on Daypop's Top 40 list. It's a game that takes place in a discussion forum. My French may be rusty, but I believe it roughly translates to

"Look at the subject, read what I'd like, and go find it for me."

The posts to the forum are pictures with text. I suppose you could run the website through a web page translator utility if you could not figure out what is being said.

Forums :: Voir le sujet - Je veux et tu vas me le chercher (jeu de cha?ne)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Wake Up and Feel the Music!

I must have inherited it from my Dad. I remember when I was in high school that he would set his alarm clock to wake him up with the Boston Pops' rendition of John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever," much to the chagrin of my stepmother.

Over time I've considered various ways of waking Keisha up in the morning, whether for school or some other reason:

I've waken her up in the past with Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?". I also remember playing a march-type song called "Weenie Man" for her.

Sometime during the last month of school, she came home and just started singing something. Because she's hard of hearing and has a related speech impairment, sometimes the actual words of songs are not what she sings. I cannot remember what it was that she was singing, but Jennie and I determined that she was singing "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas.

Yesterday I was at the library, and I checked out a copy of "Now This Is Music 17". The first song is "Let's Get It Started." That's what I chose to play for her this morning. Of course the nice thing about the CD player is that you can set it up to repeat the one song over and over again.

It looks like it did the trick. I can hear that Keisha has gotten up.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What is Anxiety in Public Speaking?

Dr. Ed Hallowell, noted physician, author, speaker, and fellow ADD-er, has written an article about having anxiety in public speaking, which happens to be many people's greatest fear.

I know of a couple coworkers who are working on improving their public speaking - feeling more comfortable about it - this quarter.

What is Anxiety in Public Speaking?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

That Darn Links Page

I need to update my Links page. It's go so much stuff on there that I don't even look at anymore. A long time ago, maybe, but not anymore.

Besides, I'm living in Cincinnati now, and I think that I should add stuff that's relevant to Cincinnati.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Thinking of You

Mood: upbeat
Listening to: The Chamber, by John Grisham, on audiocassette
Eating: Burger King Double Whopper with cheese, fries, and a medium Diet Coke


Hi there. How was your weekend? It's gotten pretty hot - almost all of a sudden. I look forward to spending some time by the pool this evening.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Top Level Domain (TLD) will be reserved for porn

ITworld.com - New .xxx domain will be reserved for porn

So does this mean that all existing sites will be required to move to the .xxx domain? I could forsee this being a problem if pornographers are not.

Related story from WorldNetDaily: .xxx domain blessing or curse?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

"I Got Flowers Today"

Whoa. I just read something that my Mom posted to her blog, "Me, Myself, and I" about domestic violence. Here's an excerpt:

But I know he must be sorry because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral! Last night, he finally killed me. He beat me to death.

If only I had gathered enough courage to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today...

When I Say I'm Broke - JOKE ALERT!

WHEN I SAY I'M BROKE...I'M BROKE

A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, only to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner:

"Good morning," said the young man. "If I could take a couple of minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners."

"Go away!" said the old lady. "I haven't got any money!" and she proceeded to close the door.

Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open. "Don't be too hasty!" he said. "Not until you have at least seen my demonstration."

And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure onto her hallway carpet. "If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder."

The old lady stepped back and said, "Well I hope you've got a damned good appetite, because they cut off my electricity this morning."