The Life and Times of the Drunken Rogue: Part Six

This is the seventh installment of the auto-biography that wouldn't end (just wait until this cat's really old). If you are just jumping on the bandwagon (or is it blogwagon?) you can check out the tale from the beginning by clicking here. Since it has been a while since the last installment, here's a quick recap:

Joel was born in the small town of Bastrop. You've never heard of it, and there is a reason why. He had good times as a child with his next door neighbor, Ellie. But good times come to an end, and they did for Joel too. He went to high school and his time there probably sucked as much as yours did. He had some cool friends though, like Darren, Trey, Nick, and Sean to name a few (blatant plug to get those people to read his blogs). He moved off to college and met a bunch of new friends and made lots of good memories (none of which he can remember). Joel then worked for two summers as an actor in Ohio (I didn't even know Ohio had a theatre), in between which he shared an apartment with his sister and got to be good buddies with Richard. Now, Drunken Rogue Publishing brings you...

From Bossier City with Love (it's a Bond reference...give it a minute, you'll get it.)

That second summer at Blue Jacket was a blast, but by the end I was ready to come home. Jena during the summer had finally talked the parents into something I had been trying to talk them into for ages, buying a mobile home. She had also tired of the cramped quarters on Virginia Street, and after a couple of months of discussion, Mom, Dad, and Jena became the proud owners of a brand new Trailer (that's right I called it a trailer. And guess what? We park it in a trailer park, so there). I was excited because, I'd pay the same amount of money a month in rent, but it would go to my parents instead of some landlord, and we got TONS more room. I had big plans for that extra room. Somehow over the summer I had managed to save up a little money and promptly decided on the best way to blow it, a new TV. But not just any TV, my friends. A 30" Phillips Widescreen. It is a beauty. And I could finally watch DVD's (and high quality TV shows) like they are meant to be watched, in widescreen, high resolution. Hell Yeah!

Major electronics purchases aside, there were plenty of things going on in my life at the time. It might have been the fact that I was only three quarters away from graduation, it might have been that I was getting older, it might have been that I had now spent more time in college than I did in high school, but for whatever reason, I felt like it was time to straighten up. Not quite as much partying, earlier nights, etc. I even got my first student job, as secretary for the Performing Arts Department on campus. My supervisor was a lovely lady by the name of Ms. Rose. She rubs some people the wrong way, but I think she's hilarious. Three things I learned from Ms. Rose:

1. Never use the bathroom on your lunchbreak - as she put it, why do it on your time, when you can go at work, and get paid. Sweet, sweet advice. A principle I still follow.

2. If your boss likes you, you get treated better - This is sort of an extension of something I learned in high school. When you're a kid, adults make it seem like everything in life is merit-based, work hard and earn the rewards. Not true. Be nice, make friends with those above you, and you'll get benefits (raises, days off, etc.) whether you really earned them or not. The alternative is you can be SO good at what you do, that even though you're a complete ass, they won't get rid of you, but that's hard work. I'll just be nice.

3. If you give the illusion to menials that you are a jerk, or just really boring they won't bother you - This is Rose's real genius. To student workers in other departments or students just coming in for random information, she would be gruff, talk sort of monotone, and barely give them what they were asking for. Eventually word spreads and people that don't have to deal with you don't. Makes her job a lot easier. It can do the same for you.

Life in the trailer park (that's what it is, why bother dressing it up?) would have been pretty freakin' sweet (what with my new TV and all) except for our third roommate, Fred. For those that don't know my sister, or haven't seen us in a while, Fred is Jena's constant companion, part boyfriend/part baby/all Basset Hound. That's right, the queen of our single wide trailer bought herself a hounddog. (The name Fred incidentally is Jena's little tribute to the Reynolds, his buddy Snowman and the Basset Hound from "Smokey and the Bandit"). Fred slobbers (more than I do) he drags his ears when he walks, he loves to get in your lap, and he smells, well like a dog. I say all of this as a dog owner by the way, I got my own now. Lovable, yes. But damn infuriating too.

The first play of the year at Tech was "A Christmas Carol" the Dickens classic. We were in rehearsals for that play when I met the lady that would become my wife. It's a pretty good story, I've told it before, and some of you have heard it in person, but I'll hit the highlights. One of the cast members, Hannah, decided to throw a Halloween party, costumes and all. I didn't have anything else going on so I went (smart move). It was at the party that a pretty girl walked up to introduce herself as I, Tim Makin, and Brandt Cooley were drunkenly singing, "If I Were a Rich Man." It seems this girl liked "Fiddler on a Roof," and wanted to know why we were butchering it (kidding, of course. Our take on the song was masterful. I'm an excellent singer in addition to my skills as a writer). We started talking and before long it was six in the morning.

She tried hard to dissuade me in the next couple of weeks, but I would not be moved. I had fallen madly, impossibly, head over heels, hung the moon (and many other cliches) in love with this girl, one Ella Guy. She had attended Tech for a while, but was living in Bossier City with her parents at the time, working and taking a few classes at Bossier Parish Community College. When it started we would talk two or three times a week for several hours, then it became four or five times a week for a couple of hours, and finally either she was coming to Ruston for three day stretches or I was going to Bossier. By Christmas time, I knew without a doubt, this was the woman for me. Ella however took some convincing.

If you don't know Ella, let me give you an idea of the woman I married. She's gorgeous (you can see for yourself in her profile pics), funny, intelligent, and one of the strongest willed people I know (and coming from me, that's saying something). She also knows more about music than any single human being I have ever even heard of. I don't just mean bands, and hit singles. She seems to grasp the whole idea of music, influences and how they show up in melodies, growth of artists over their careers, connections from one genre to another etc. This is her genius.

It didn't hurt my excitement over our (in my mind) inevitable marriage that her family is awesome. There are far too many to list all together (and I'm sorry if I leave somebody out) but here's the core:

Mom - First off her name is Tootie, how can that not be cool. She's pretty hip, really sweet, and generally about the best Mother-in-law I could hope for

Dad - Randy is what would of happened if Elvis and George Bush (W) would have been cloned together. He's laugh out loud funny, and a complete southern gentleman. Not a bad singer either

Boyd - Older brother (one year older than me), he was already married by the time I started coming around, a whiz with computers and photography, a movie buff (plenty for us to talk about) and a comic book geek (what more could I want)

Tara - Boyd's wife, she's my partner when the Guy's are doing that secret "we've been a family a lot longer than you people" thing. Also I owe her a lot, by breaking the ice as far as kids marrying is concerned she (and Boyd) made it a lot easier on me and Ella. Also the mother of the prettiest baby girl, Sara. Sara is destined to be a music producer, because me and Ella are already schooling her on the classics.

Chase - younger brother (just turned 21), the first of the Guy family to meet me, Chase made it easy to meet the rest. We found out we both liked movies, comic books, video games, music, and had a distaste for full-screen movies. He's the only person in our age group that I know that has a sweeter audio/video setup than me, hence his is the only house I'll go to (other than mine) to watch movies. Also brought in an awesome girlfriend (yeah, she's not in the family yet, but whatever) Erin. Erin is so much like Ella it's ridiculous. She's a great friend for me and Ella, and makes an even four for playing Spades.

Gran and Gramps - I thought I had the market on awesome Grandparents cornered with Nana and Papaw, but not quite. Gran and Gramps are funny, loving people that couldn't have been nicer to me when I first showed up.

Bear - Ella has roughly a million cousins in the Baton Rouge area, but Bear (or Merrit if you want to use his real name) beats them all with a big "i'm way the hell cooler than you" stick. Singlehandedly this cat has almost got us decided to MOVE to BR just so we can hang out on a more regular basis. I can't think of any higher praise than that.

So long story short (not really, just not quite as long as it could have been), I asked her to marry me Easter of 2004. Surprise, surprise, she said yes, and we were married, July 24, 2004. Yep, that's like three months later. Short engagement. But we had a small wedding (just family and a few close friends) and besides, what the hell were we waiting for? I don't understand long engagements at all. If you have found the person you know you want to spend the rest of your life with, then get busy. If you're not sure you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, then don't get engaged.

Since I was now about to be someone's husband, I figured it would be nice if I had some sort of employment and that my friends is exactly what I found, but that's not until next time.

Coming soon to a blog near you:
How the Drunken Rogue became the Drunken Dj