I know, I know, it has been a while since I last checked in. What can I say I've been busy. It doesn't help that Erika has done such a bang up job of filling in for me. That has at least made me feel like people weren't totally out in the cold as to what is going on in Johnsonville (no not the place where the bratwursts come from- it is a reference to...oh never mind).
Well you may be asking yourself, "self, what could be so important that high and mighty, Tyler "I'm too good to write a little blog every week" Johnson decides to grace us with a blog." To which I would respond, "wow, your inner monologue is a jerk." But I digress.
Let me tell you about my little brother Evan. He came around almost exactly 2 years after me and for as long as I can remember we shared a room. Anybody who knows boys in close quarters knows that there are plenty of dust-ups and disagreements. Its all part of the natural pecking order that exists in most families....I don't know, at least in my family. Until one day you stop fighting long enough to figure out that this rag tag group you call a family is all you've got, and more so, it's all you want.
Neither of us was what you would call an angel. I remember many a wrestling/fighting match (no punching in the head though, even in thunderdome there are certain rules that are sacred). I remember the day he hit me square in the knee with a hammer (it makes me laugh remembering it because it was so out of the blue). Or there was the time we were wrestling in our room and the fan fell between us and Evan with his faster reflexes pushed it towards me all Jackie Chan like. The thing cut a huge gash under my eye and the no punching in the head rule was tested...but not broken. The funny part about it was I had to tell the story to my teammates all week while I wore a band-aid under my eye (thats right it was my senior year in high school....of course by then we were on good enough terms that it was more a funny story than something I held against him.) I remember the time he offered me a pack of garbage pail kids from a large stack he had just purchased from the ice cream man with an unknown donation from my cigar box piggy bank. I remember countless wet willies and slug-a-bugs. The best ever has to be one day surfing I remember cutting down a wave (before I knew how to turn) and seeing Evan in my path. What could I do? I still can see the look on his face as I hit him right in the ribs with the nose of my board. Classic.
ok ok you get the idea I know. Just one more story.
So dumb- I remember one time I found a pair of sweet nikes in the mervyns add (we only bought shoes on sale at big 5 or mervyns and the fact that I can still see the black 3/4 high tops with the red pipping is evidence of how bad I either wanted them, or needed them, as I was wearing through shoes at a pretty steady clip). I braved a shopping trip with my mom to three different stores (trying on polo shirt after polo shirt along the way) and could not find the shoes in my (even then) large size. After our third failure my mom (knowing a good deal when she saw one) suggested we get a pair for Evan and Stuart. This is the part I am ashamed of, and really illustrates how far we've come. I could not stand the idea that not only could I not get the shoes, but that they would be mocking me from the feet of my two YOUNGER siblings. My mom bless her, (no she's not dead) honored my wishes but added the caveat, "one day you will be just as glad when something good happens to your brothers as you would if it had happened to you. Maybe more?" As I was left to ponder that we returned home after miles of driving and looking at who knows what in various mervyns and target stores with my mom.
Years have passed but that day still looms in my mind. I thought we had reached a comfortable point where we all have learned that lesson my mom taught but Evan just does it better. Sure when he got into Columbia I was the first to smack him on the back, heck I even bought him a shirt so he could show off is new found allegiance to the blue lions. He just took it to a whole new level last night.Let me explain (note I have to write explain these days since previous attempts to insert the word esplain ala Ricky Ricardo don't make it past the censoring eyes of Erika.)
I am a huge Simpsons fan. That is an understatement. I love a good episode of the Simpsons almost as much as a Mom/Alli/Michal home cooked meal (ask those who know, that's a lot). So when Evan, now located in beautiful New York City for grad school got wind that the company he works for was holding a special screening of the Simpsons Movie 3000 miles away in Hollywood that night (after punching a wall or some other form of release I am sure) what did he do? He called his big bro in southern cal. What's the big deal you say? That movie has been out since July. Its coming out on DVD any day. Well in DVD's the commentary is recorded. But at this screening there was a commentary following the movie by a virtual who's who of the Simpsons. The voice talent of Nancy Cartright (Bart, Ralph, Nelson, among others), Yeaderly Smith (Lisa), and Harry Shearer (Lenny, Mr Burns, Ned Flanders, to name a few- in addition to being the Bass player for Spinal Tap), then there was one of the lead animators ....cant remember his name, I'll look him up on IMBD and get back. Then the big two. James L Brooks (co-creator) and Matt Groening (Creator and original artist). They sat in a row and answered questions for and joked around for a small group of adoring fans and when it was over everyone just got up to leave (so Hollywood, so unimpressed by fame). Well I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip by. Now I don't get star struck. I had seen stars at other screenings Evan had gotten me into. Seriously I could see Brad and Angelina walking down the street towards me and not say a word, just give em their space. But these guys matter to me. So I slid past a couple of bad security guards to tell them what I thought of their work. It was all fun and then I got to talk to Matt Groening. What a legend. I was reduced to mumbling something inaudible and shoving a copy of daily variety with a picture of the Simpson family on it in front of him to sign. He was such a nice guy. He stood there and talked to me and a small group while he not only signed my magazine but drew me a picture of Homer saying my name. I thanked him again and his response was something like, " No problem, I made these guys, I really like to draw them."
I was on cloud nine-hundred. On the way out I spied a leftover movie poster on an easel and grabbed it for my kid brother who had made this night possible.
Thanks again little bro..........I may not bring up the garbage pale kid thing for another six months..........maybe.