February 02, 2021

May Be Writing

 Vintage friend, Brandon May, stops by to revel in the good old days, discuss his life-long love of the written word and his journey to publishing the children’s book, Grace and the Big Blue Mat. Brandon also offers advice to John on how to craft the story he wants to tell. 



Episode Transcript: 

Brandon May:
It is damn good for you to have me on your podcast.

John:
When did we start talking like that?

Brandon May:
I do not know. It may go back like all the way back to when we first met in high school. What I think maybe junior year, maybe I think you and I kind of bonded over our love of Jim Carrey movies, but I'm not really, I'm not really sure where the damn good to talk to you thing came from.

John:
It's damn good to talk to you. It's damn good to see you. It's damn it's damn everything.

Brandon May:
Yeah. Well, we didn't have text messages back then, but now it's damn good to text you.

John:
Damn good to be texting that's right.

Brandon May:
Yeah

John:
Man it's crazy the things we do and say, especially as we get older.

Brandon May:
And we still sound awesome.

John:
I think so. And, we go back to probably 10th or 11th grade, I think you're saying.

Brandon May:
Yeah. So it put us what 92, 93?

John:
Yeah, something in that area.

Brandon May:
Yeah, that sounds pretty accurate.

John:

And we did have a love for Jim Carrey movies.

Brandon May:

Yes. You were one of the first people that I met where you dropped a line from Ace Ventura and I was like, do you have the other half of this amulet? I knew you were, I knew you were a kindred spirit.

John:

Yeah. That was pretty crazy those days. You know, I worked at a, you may remember there was these video cassette recorders VCRs.

Brandon May:

Oh yeah. I've heard of those things.

John:

And back in those days I worked at Blockbuster Video. You may remember that place.

Brandon May:

Yeah. Yeah. The blue one, the yellow thing.

John:

And one of the things that we did was, you know, you had to have a card that you can take in and they'd scan, you know, to your membership card or whatever. And so we had this little card maker and that, that was my, the beginning days of my business cards. So we had this little laminating machine and the blockbuster card would had a barcode on it and I would invert it and like it was blue on the outside, you know, and blue and yellow. And I had to invert it cause it'd be white on the inside. And then I just write some silly stuff on it and make business cards. They must have hated me for that. But I had a ton of Ace Ventura lines written on those cards.

Brandon May:

But they probably let you get away with it because you would still rewind the video.

John:

Hey, I was kind.

Brandon May:

Yeah, exactly.

John:

I was kind.

Brandon May:

I had no idea you did that. So this was, this was the precursor to the John Grimes band.

John:

Yes. I guess you're right about that. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, the John Grimes band, we were pretty big back in, in the late nineties. We actually, and nearly really kind of around the.com bubble is really when we,

Brandon May:

That was the peak.

John:

Well we were, so we kind of were we really followed Hasselhoff. Um, we were really big with David Hasselhoff. Like we toured with him.

Brandon May:

Oh, okay. Okay. That's I forgot you were big in Germany,

John:

A lot in Germany in Europe. And it was, it was pretty big.

Brandon May:

Right. Just never quite made it here in the States.

John:

Well, we were bigger there than we were here for sure. And it was a lot of fun though, being in Europe for those years. And I mean, David Hasselhoff is a great guy. Have you ever met him?

Brandon May:

No, I, you never invited me. So

John:

Yeah, he was fun on the road. We had a lot of good times and we had, of course we had shirts.

Brandon May:

Does the car actually talk

John:

He said it does.

Brandon May:

It does. Okay. The car even, yes,

John:

It wasn't with us ever, but he did talk about kit pretty often,

Brandon May:

Man. I bet their relation to the stories they could tell. Right.

John:

Oh my goodness. So after those crazy high school days, we went off to be higher educated, some more, some more or less than others. Obviously I needed as much help as I could. You went, you went to school and I think one of your focuses was writing you've you've pretty much always wanted to be a writer.

Brandon May:

Yeah, absolutely. Yep. Pretty much. I mean, I, I, I would imagine, I'm not saying that I'm like, I'm not comparing myself to a Michael Jordan by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just saying, I bet there are people in any walk of life where at an early age, they just realize that this is what I'm good at and just comes naturally. And for me, it was just the ability to tell a story and put something together in writing and make people want to read it. And I did that all through high school. And then when I went to college just said, all right, well, I dabbled with radio television film because I wanted to write screenplays. But then I switched over to journalism because maybe I wanted to, you know, write the hard hitting, breaking news stories. But eventually when I was at Baylor, I was fortunate enough to find a professor who had a whole curriculum that was just professional writing. He was in the English department.

Brandon May:

And, um, so they basically swapped out, uh, some of the literature courses for writing courses. And so I took that path. So I wrote screenplays. I wrote short stories. I wrote novels. I wrote press releases. I wrote exploded diagrams for people who are trying to assemble a table from Ikea. Like I've basically written everything at that point. And then out into the world, I've written graphic novels to help people or not people, students who reading recovery is the, the phrase that they use. If you're, let's say you're in the fifth grade, but you're on a third grade reading level, they put you in reading recovery. So we started doing graphic novels to help kids get back up to their grade level, reading wise. And I've written test prep. I've written a children's book, which was published here recently. Um, just anything and everything. All right. So real quick, that crazy Popeye's chicken sandwich that like broke the world. I wrote the training video for Popeye's to send to all of their locations, teach their employees how to make that sandwich. So

John:

Do you have some insider information into that?

Brandon May:

Yeah. Uh, I've never eaten it big on principle, uh, largely because

John:

Well it's a conflict of interest obviously.

Brandon May:

It is. Absolutely. It is. Well, and I'm watching my figure, but uh, I know the whole process of writing that training. They had no idea what they wanted to do other than we have to be better than Chick-fil-A and yeah. And quite honestly, let's go ahead and just, you don't have to cut this out, but I'll just say, I'm not allowed to tell you that, but I just did anyway. So

John:

Don't worry about it.

Brandon May:

Well, when it does happen and someone hears this, you just send them to me, I'll take full responsibility, but yeah, from a writing standpoint, it's just what I do. I take people come to me and say, I want this to sound good. And they'll give me a list of bullet points. And then I take it and I put a narrative together and make it somewhat engaging. But while also still staying true to, uh, like if you came to me and said, Hey, I want you to help me tell my story. Then I would ask you a few questions. Like what, you know, what's your, what's your audience and what, what kind of tone do you want to take casual, professional, uh, in your case, would you want it to be very, uh, clinical because it's medically based, right? Um, but whatever your narrative is then, all right, let's compile all this stuff and let's put a story together because eventually it's still a story, um, that you want people to read.

Brandon May:

You want to hear John Grimes story from beginning to end the, uh, you know, where you were before the meningitis, what happened during that, the recovery period, and then where you are here now hosting this awesome podcast. And that's, that's your story arc, you know? Yeah, no, I was just saying that's, that's the beauty of the whole thing is it's just, I like helping people tell their stories. I have my own stories to tell, but I also like helping other people who are a little, maybe a little timid, they don't think that they can, everybody can, it's just a matter of finding the right words and the tone and the, the structure to it. And for me, that comes naturally. But I like helping people, especially like yourself who have a story to tell that other people need to hear. Then all right, here's how you can do it.

John:

Yeah. Well, you're stoking some members there for me because I have, I would, would be what you consider in the writing recovery area. Like, I don't write good for my age. So I'm like on probably a third or fourth grade writing level.

Brandon May:

That sounds about right, because you should have said, I don't write well for my age.

John:

Exactly! See?

Brandon May:

See? See? We're already on it. There we go. And I'm going to push up my glasses and look smart.

John:

Take a sip of your coffee while you're at it too, but something else why I want to get back to this topic too. But something that I read about you that I thought was interesting was I think it might've been on one of your bio somewhere that you knew, like maybe in middle school or high school that you wanted to write, but you, your example that you gave was that if somebody said, write the ingredient or nutrition label on the back of this box of on a Popeye's chicken sandwich, let's just say, um, it would be the best damn nutrition label somebody had ever read. Is that right?

Brandon May:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah. We'll, we'll go with that. That's paraphrasing. And, uh, but yes, you're absolutely right. That, that was always my goal. I want anything that I write, if somebody reads it to remember it and hopefully remember it because it stood out whether it was because it was funny or it was insightful or maybe it was cause it was horrible. I don't know. That's obviously not my goal, but I'm sure I'm remembered for that as well. But, uh, yeah, a lot of the stuff I write, especially, uh, when I write articles for Lifestyle Frisco, for some of our clients, like, you know, I want to do right by the client. I want them to be happy with the work, but I want somebody who maybe, uh, never would have considered going into a Texas legends game to read this article and think, Oh, that was entertaining. I would like to check that out. Um, so yeah, if I were to write the nutritional content on the back of a cereal box, then I would want somebody to call me up and be like, you need to make a movie out of that. That was spectacular!

John:

Cannot believe how much sodium was in that too, by the way.

Brandon May:

Well, the sodium is the unsung hero of the story. So,

John:

All right. So children's book, how did you get engaged in children's book?

Brandon May:

So, like I said, I worked for a company for a long time on a creative team doing the graphic novels. And then we did a lot of videos, uh, educational videos. And then I moved on from that. And then a new company here locally in Frisco popped up online education called 3g Strong. And they work in the space of, uh, 3 g's or grit, grace and growth mindset is one of the new educational entities. And so I've been helping them put stories together from kindergarten to fifth grade. Well, they said, you know what, let's just put a children's book together. Would you write a children's books? And absolutely. I read a children's book. And so one of the characters that I've been helping them develop is named Grace, and she's a gymnast and she's like a super awesome chick and being the father of two daughters who both went through gymnastics, I'm like, okay, well I'll just Grace and the Big Blue Mat.

Brandon May:

Just, it's all about her at a competition staring into that giant blue mat for her floor exercise. And what's going through her head and all the anxiety and the trepidation, but then how she powers through that to still, you know, stick the landing if you will. And so I made a point to write it at a second grade level. So all of the, uh, a lot of the words stay within a certain reading level, but at the same time, what I love about writing children's books when it comes to that sort of stuff, uh, is when you're doing it in like say a comic book, medium where you have the visual aspect, you can get away with throwing in a bigger word. So, um, when we were doing the graphic novels, like one of my partner in crime back in the day, Abraham, uh, he always used to say, when I was a kid, I didn't know what the word behemoth means, but or meant.

Brandon May:

But if you showed me a picture of the Incredible Hulk and then next to it, you had the word behemoth, well, then I'm going to know what the word behemoth means. Yeah. So the visual and the literal can tie together that way. And then you can start helping kids who maybe are struggling with their reading, or may not even be interested in reading, start to maybe get a little bit more of an interest in it. So when I get everybody that wants to write, wants to be published, so it was an opportunity to do it, and I'm glad it worked out. And I'm glad that the company's doing well as a result of it.

John:

Grace and the Big Blue Mat, right?

Brandon May:

Grace and the Big Blue Matt, you can find it on Amazon or you can probably find it on the website, 3g strong.com. Um, really good company. Two ladies, local school teachers. Um, one's a principal and one is I think in charge of the gifted and talented program at another school and they put this company together and this is, they're still teaching, but this is, this is their second career. And I expect really big things out of them. It's been really fun to work with them.

John:

So walk me through the process of, from the, okay, let's write a book about Grace and then to the point where it's point and click on Amazon. I'm sure that took a while.

Brandon May:

Uh, yes. It definitely took a while because in this case, like in this case, they just said, would you like to write a book? And so I immediately start spitballing ideas and we landed on one, which is this one, Grace and the Big Blue Mat. And so from there I started just personally writing down ideas, but so like a fun thing. And I don't know if it's just writers in general or if it's creatives as a whole, there are a lot of times when people see people like me and they think you're not doing anything.

John:

I thought I've I've thought that about you at lots of times, actually.

Brandon May:

Yeah. Yeah. And many do. And they're probably accurate, but there's so much going on up in your brain space. So like, like you're sitting there and you're staring at the TV, but you're not really watching the TV. You're not paying attention to TV. You're running through scenarios in your head. Okay. Well, all right. If this happens in the story, then this has to happen. How was the, where is the climax of the story, like processing processing process. And then finally it's like, as far as the carpenter used to say, measure twice, cut once it's kind of like that. I, when I see a blank screen, I'm not intimidated by it as much as I don't want to even start putting words on here until I know what direction I'm going in and I'm need to figure out what direction I want to go. In this case though, because I knew that it was going to be essentially a comic book style, where there was going to be a lot of like animated drawing, pictures and illustrations and everything go into it.

Brandon May:

I didn't just have to write the story and the dialogue, but I also had to write, uh, the instruction for who was going to draw it. And then I had to write the instruction for how the panels were going to show up on the page. So I had, I had to write, okay, Grace says this, her coach says this, but then in that section, this is panel one A that goes up in the top left corner. And then this is for panel one B that goes in the top right corner. And then we move down. And then also when we needed a closeup shot for the blue mat, but then, you know, and so you start, you're almost, at that point, you're writing for multiple audiences. I'm writing for the person reading, but I'm also writing for the person who's drawing it. And I'm also writing for the person who's laying it out.

Brandon May:

And then I'm on top of that. I'm writing for the people who are paying me to do it because they got to like it. And so, yeah, it's an interesting process. It's tedious, but it's fun. It's almost like it's almost like being an escape room and they say go, and some people like immediately try to find the key and other people's laid back and to study the room for me when it comes to the storytelling aspect, I'm the one that lays back and studies the room, all right, what are we doing? What do we got going on here? You know,

John:

Did you come up with the idea with the gymnastics thing because of your experience with that, with, with your girls, or was that kind of already in motion?

Brandon May:

They already created the character of Grace and they already decided that she would be a gymnast. So that was one of the main reasons why, because I could have there's other, there are two other characters that I could have written about, but I obviously grabbed her, uh, gravitated towards Grace because of that. And I was like, I can definitely write something for this because I, like you said, I've got daughters that did gymnastics now they've moved on to cheer, but they did gymnastics. I've been to many gymnastics competitions. Um, in fact, I actually worked one of my daughter's routines into the story and the ladies wrote me back. She's like, okay, is this accurate? I was like, trust me, it's accurate because I've watched it two dozen times. I know this entire routine. So no, it was fun. I'm glad I got the opportunity to do it.

John:

Are the mats always blue? I mean, I'm trying to think of a gymnastics and like the Olympics, it seems like in the Olympics, that's the floor routines always on a blue mat.

Brandon May:

Yeah. Yep. Almost always blue, blue.

John:

Why's it blue?

Brandon May:

I have no idea.

John:

Don't they worry about like birds diving into water?

Brandon May:

Like Boise State? No, I don't know many outdoor gymnastics venues, but no, I, I have no idea. That's a really good question. We should Google that.

John:

Yeah. Why is gymnastics floor always blue? Interesting. So

Brandon May:

You would, you would think it'd be white because then you wouldn't see the chalk all over the place, right? Yeah.

John:

Hmm. All right. I'm writing that down. That's for another call, we will have an answer for that next time we get together.

Brandon May:

You don't have a fact checker or anything like that. No,

John:

No. We got to, we're working on a pretty slim budget here.

John:

Pretty slim budget. Well, yeah. And we kind of started talking about you referencing me wanting to tell the story too, and that, that is something I want to do. And I've been talking about it for quite some time and I've engaged some people in it. And I think I have a unique story. I know I have a unique story, definitely have a unique story. And I think it's, it's, it's unique. And I think it's compelling, not so much for the after just it's kind of, life is crazy as you know, and lots of people's lives are different today than they were before, but I think it's interesting finding kind of the reason or the, the differences and things that happened in between point A point B point C and, and wherever people go. So I've, I've gotten some things written down, not too much. I told you I'm on a second grade reading level. So our writing level. And so it's, it's kind of hard to, for me to do that. And that's one of the things that I discovered earlier was I'm just not a good writer. I don't write well.

Brandon May:

Very good. See, you're already picking, you're already learning, but all right. So tell me this though. So rather than worrying about what you consider your writing capabilities, think about the story as a whole, uh, think about parallels. All right. So right now your, your struggle, obviously, because it's the name of the podcast, but then so if we're going to go the blind route now, how could you symbolically say that you might have been blind when you and I first met in high school? What you might've been blind to? Um, things that, you know, now that you didn't know, then things, you know, all that kind of stuff. And then that way that's, that's what you would call a story arc, where you could talk about, because your story doesn't start at Texas tech. When you got sick, your story started, you know, the day you were born. So how could you put all that together? So putting the words together, I can help you. Anyone could help you with that, but your stories, your stories. So how would you pull everything together to where you're, you're basically telling your journey? You know what I mean?

John:

Yeah. I think I need somebody to extract that because I, as, as I mentioned, I've, I've tried to kind of write some things down. I'm, I'm pretty good at talking, which is why we're doing the podcast thing here. I have a face for radio and not for video. So that's another reason why we're doing the podcast thing. But I think, um, a couple I've, I've kind of struggled with that and it's, it's frustrating to me because I want to get it out and I want to, I want to do it. There's a couple reasons why, um, notably would be, um, not, not to sound like I'm the most important person ever or anything, but in my family, as my family continues beyond me, there's they need to know wherever they are, why this guy in the tree, this nut was the way he was. And, and some things that happened, because I think there are some unique things that happen to me that, that don't happen to other people, just like other people would have things that don't happen to other people as well.

John:

And so I wanted to record those types of things for at least in my personal family's lineage, just so they kind of know this is where our family took a straight left and just went bonkers. And this is the reason why it's because of this guy. And then I think that there are some things that have happened in my life that I can help people with that. Something similar, maybe not exactly, but something close to that has happened to somebody. And we could, we could talk through that or work through that and give some examples of, of things to do and, and, and things that I did or didn't do that would, that would make those types of situations better. So I want that I to do that for that as well. And I don't know, it could be a pamphlet, you know, at a psychologists office or something, but it could also be kind of also like

Brandon May:

Light bathroom reading.

John:

Uh, it could, it could be a, um, article in a magazine, or it could be, could be a short story. It could be John and the Big Blue Mat or something, you know, I don't know, but I, I have an idea. It's got some depth and length to it, to where it's, it's pretty long and it's pretty involved. And there's some really unique details that happened. And some miraculous things that occurred that I don't know, I just want to talk about. And there's some, some kind of some, there's also some secretive kind of stuff that I really haven't shared with a lot of people that I think it's just time for me to the best out with. Cause I'm tired of holding onto some, some things that just have held on to for a long time. So, and then of course it would be feature movie, I would imagine.

Brandon May:

So who would play you? Who would play you in the movie? Oh man. I'm thinking Kevin Hart.

John:

Well, one of my first thoughts was Will Smith. Cause I'm a little taller than Kevin Hart.

Brandon May:

Oh yeah. Dang it. I totally missed that one.

John:

I mean, I am tall for my age, but it would, I've really narrowed it down to, uh, Will Smith and MPG. And I'm not sure which I guess it depends on who's available.

Brandon May:

Yeah the budget, of course, yeah.

John:

Mark Paul Gosselaar, Zach, from Saved by the Bell, you know.

Brandon May:

He's, he's pretty busy right now 'm pretty sure. Your, your, your story, because I know that you were, so you've mentioned many times to me that you've reached out to people because you're trying to gather information, but the main reason you're reaching out to people for this information is because there's a bulk of time that you do not recall at all. Right?

John:

So I was, I was out to lunch for about seven days. So I have talked to a couple people in the publishing world and we really haven't been able to get very far. I think I've talked to three seriously, and one of them, I just really didn't, wasn't impressed with. I just didn't like the feel of how things were working. Another one wasn't interested in me. And then a third one was, uh, very interested, but I kind of got the feeling it was a really a transactional kind of thing. And it was like, okay, I need this, I need X amount of money and we will start doing this and we'll start doing that. And then we're done. And here's the timeframe for that. And I think that's good, except I didn't really have a connection with this person. And it just felt real transactional.

John:

I just didn't just didn't feel it. And I think that probably offer still stands, but it's been well over a year since we discussed that, but I spoke with another person kind of in the same area, but not, not in writing that said, well, we're all getting older, as we know, and you've got all this stuff that you really haven't been able to capture in writing, but you've got it in your head. And you've got lots of people that were around you kind of at the centerpiece of the story, which is, I think the center piece of the story is the meningitis stuff from back in the day. And, um, as you mentioned, I was in a coma for about seven days. So there's a lot of things that happened that I don't know. And he said, he told me, um, you need to talk to as many people as you can that were there during those times and record conversations.

John:

So you can capture all that data and then go from there, transcribe it or things and get things into writing and go from there. So I did that and, um, I was, it was, it was some great conversations with some, some people from, you know, back in the day, reconnected with some people and, and talk to some people that I talk to regularly, but we don't really ever talk in a lot of detail about those types of things. And so it was a really cathartic experience and it was fun. So now I have all this recorded data and some written data, but very little that I'm, I'm ready to do something.

Brandon May:

Yeah. Yeah. Because I think with your story, if like you said, you know, I'm that wacky acorn on the tree that, okay, I want everybody to know, this is why this guys was the way that he was that caused all this to happen. But at the same time, the contrast of that is here, you are now trying to be that wacky acorn that's helping all of these people who are in the same situation as you are that are looking for answers or looking for help or looking for a community. And so you're building more than just answers for your family. You're building towards something else. And so I don't think you should, uh, dismiss that if, if you will. Um, but also

John:

I will.

Brandon May:

You will dismiss it?

John:

No, I will not dismiss it. You said if you will, I will.

Brandon May:

If you will, okay. Um, but yeah, as far as, uh, I think it's good that you, whoever gave you that advice to start getting people's, um, recorded memories. That that's good. I remember being with a couple of our mutual friends. So I don't know if you want to mention their names or not that we're there with you. Um, when that happened and you reached out to them and they were like, I don't remember anything about that day. It was such a blur and I wouldn't even know what to tell him. And when they said this, it made me think there's, there's, there's a medical theory theory, but I want to emphasize theory that, uh, your worst memories are your most accurate memories because you suppress them. You don't want to talk about those. It's why your good memories tend to get embellished. It's why the fish you caught gets larger and larger every time you say the story about how you caught this one fish. Yeah. The four point buck, you shot turns into a 14 buck, you know? Um, I'm sure everybody, I remember exactly where I was when I found out. I was at home and my dad came in because, uh, your roommate at the time, again, I'm trying Dodge names now.

John:

I mean, I think, I think it'll help the podcast. If we mentioned Ryan Walker's name. I mean, the search engines will light up. SEO will be like, Hey, Ryan Walker, the soccer star.

Brandon May:

Yeah. Oh, you know him?

John:

I mean, he could, I don't know. Just, I'm sorry to get off on tangent. He could have played professional baseball.

Brandon May:

Oh, shortstop. Yeah, absolutely. No. I've heard that story tons of times, again, that goes back to the theory stories that are really good tend to get embellished over time. But no, I remember being, uh, being at home and my dad coming in, waking me up and it was Ms. Walker had just called and she said, Ryan's in the hospital and he's really, he could possibly be very sick and, uh, John very well may die. And I didn't know how to process that because one it's through so many different proxies, right? Like it's my dad talking to Mrs. Walker talking through. And of course she's not there with you guys. So she's probably hysterical and you know, not knowing what was going on. And all I remember thinking at that moment was just, no. Not no, like this can't be true or no, I'm not going to accept it. It was just no, like I won't allow it like, no, no. And then obviously later when you start getting more information on what was happening, because think about it, this was before text messages and cell phones and

John:

Yeah, I don't think we've talked, how do we communicate back then?

Brandon May:

The carrier pigeon. Um, and I was all out of birds that day. And so now I know, I know stupid birds, but uh, yeah, I just, I remember thinking I'm, I'm, I'm helpless, I've got two friends that could be in very much danger and there's, um, your guys are in Lubbock and I'm in Plano and there's nothing I can do, but that was the extent of my recollection. And I do remember that vividly, but that's no use to you because I didn't know the before. I didn't know the after. And it wasn't until a long time later that you and I even saw each other again, because we were in and out of the hospital and everything. So, I mean, I think what, what you will kind of reconcile is, okay, what led up to this? And then what came at, you've got this, like you said, you got a week long period of time that you have,

John:

And a lot of critical things happened during that week too, so.

Brandon May:

That you're not aware of. Yeah. Yeah. Does that bother you or does it just,

John:

No, it doesn't, it doesn't bother me. I guess it bothers me in the sense that I'd like to know, but no, I don't lose any sleep over it, but yeah, I think that, you know, the, the time during that time, there was a pretty immense struggle for my body to do whatever it was doing to get the, to help or to get the meningitis and get it out of my system or help my, you know, get me back to normal. But, and it, it's a, it's a huge fight that my body was doing, but I have no memory of it. And so I, I usually downplay it because I was like, well, I mean, I was asleep the whole time, so how much work can you do while you're asleep? You know? I mean, it's not like I'm a bowler and I'm over 40 pounds over weight and I'm throwing an 18 pound ball down.

John:

I mean, that's an athlete, that's somebody that does something. Right. So it's nice. It would be nice to remember that, of course, but no, I'm not upset about it or I don't, I'm okay with not knowing, but it, I'm actually more interested in what other peoples were thinking. And which is why, when you said, like, when I spoke with my roommates or the people that were really close to me, I'm like Ryan, and it wasn't so much what, what they remember about me. It was more about what they remember about them or what was going on or what people were talking about. Yeah. Like what you were thinking or what you were told, or, you know, there was a thought that maybe somebody else was going to get it that's highly contagious, but it, none of that, none of that turned out to be the case, but there was a lot of concern for people.

John:

And there was a, a term we use now contact tracing is basically what happened back then, as they were trying to find everybody that had come in contact with me because there was, uh, some medicine they could give them to prevent, uh, meningitis. So they went through that process. So I'm kind of interested in what they remember about those things. And, you know, like you said, the memory, once you stoke the memory and for things that you want to not really talk or think about anymore, once we started talking, they remembered things. At least they remembered things that I was interested in. They may not think they were interested in. Interesting. But, um, I, we had a great talk and I really enjoyed the conversations I had with, I don't know, maybe a dozen or 15 people. And I mean, I'd probably have close to 15 to 20 hours worth of audio of stuff that I'm very glad I did because now I've kind of captured that. And as long as I keep backing up that hard drive, you know, I should keep that stuff. But the hard drive and the cloud will fail, um, are less likely to fail than my, than my ma my, my mind and everybody else's memory of those things too. So,

Brandon May:

So then listening back to all those stories and piecing it all together as a puzzle, if we're talking about writing a story, putting a story together, did it, if we're putting it into a metaphor of a puzzle, like, did it drop any pieces into place that you didn't currently have? Or like, where did the story go from there?

John:

It definitely brought back. Uh, it definitely dropped some puzzles pieces together. Yeah. I can't give you any finite examples of that at the moment, but it, it filled in a lot of detail that I didn't know, or just kind of what was going on. I mean, really it's, it's pretty crazy the stuff that was happening and which is why I think it's a really a compelling story, but as much as it's about that time period, it's, it's also about, you know, maybe slightly before maybe, I mean, you said birth, but just to kind of get a feel for the guy or for me up to that point, but really it's, it's mostly a lot of it there've been so many things that have happened afterward. Not even like immediately afterward, like years later, that just things that, that wouldn't really have registered to me that were going to happen.

John:

Things that are all good. I mean, there's been some bad things of course too, but are some, some, there's been some, a lot of challenges, but there's been a lot of great things and a lot of blessings and things that have happened to me that I think is part of the story. That is what makes it good, because it, there is hope for people that do go through tough times. And that's, I think the crux of really what the story is about, and it's just kind of these things, these are the things that happened. And then this is how we reacted to those things.

Brandon May:

Right. I mean, so you, we obviously know what you lost, but what, what did you gain?

John:

Well, there's a lot of things that I gained and that's another thing,

Brandon May:

Because it's a different kind of site. What, I mean, you know what I mean? Like you, you gained a different perspective as a result of surviving that, and that I think is part of your story.

John:

Yeah. It is. And you know, there's metaphorical things, there's physical things. There's all kinds of. Yeah, exactly. So I guess I just, I don't know. You want to, um, sounds like we should get together about this time tomorrow and, uh, we'll just start handing things out, right? I mean, John and the Big Blue Mat, John and Brandon.

Brandon May:

Oh no, no, no. I'll just, I'll be the coach over on the side. It'll be, John and the Big Blue Mat, or maybe the big white mat, because we don't want the chalk staining everything. And you know, I think we figured the whole thing out, although I'd love to see your floor routine.

John:

Well, I've been working on it, but it's got a lot of work to do.

Brandon May:

Speaking of which, I mean, looking to you get, you're a dad now. I'm a dad now. I mean, did anybody back when you and I first met each other, quoting Jim Carrey lines think that we were fit to raise children.

John:

Does anybody think we're fit to raise children now, at least speaking for myself?

Brandon May:

No, I concur. Um, no one probably looks at me and says, yeah, I endorse that.

John:

That is dad material right there. That's got dad written all over it. Yeah. It's really wild, man. How, how things happen like that. I don't think I had really ever in those days, uh, one of the, I have a C we did a question and answer series for which you, you gave some questions.

Brandon May:

Yeah, no, I know you ignored one of them, but we won't know.

John:

I did forget a reason. I think I may have answered it, but to you personally on the side, but not for the world to know, but, and one of the questions that I got from somebody else was what would, what advice would you give 17 year old you, and this, this puts a square in the, you know, that timeframe for what we're talking about here, junior high school,

Brandon May:

Junior high school.

John:

And, um, you know, I don't, when I was 17, I had probably only planned my life about, you know, lunch tomorrow in the future, You know?

John:

And so I, I don't know. I, I thought it was a good question. You may know his name was Jeff Katzman is the one that gave, that, gave that question. He went to, he went to high school with us. He's a good guy too. And I don't know, I'll pose the question to you. What advice would, would you give 17 year old Brandon May?

Brandon May:

A 17 year old Brandon May would be just drop out of school. It doesn't matter. No, I'm just joking. Don't do that kids. Um, not that, that is a tough question because there are parts of me that would tell 17 year old me don't change a thing. You're doing just fine. You're going to be just fine. And then there are other parts of me that are like, okay, yeah, you should have met your wife earlier. You would have had two more years or that kind of stuff. Uh, I would say it's more about priorities. I mean, just, but at the same time, you also don't want a 17 year old worrying about a 401k. I mean, so that, that, that's a tough one, I would say, because you don't want to come back. And I struggle with this with my kids and not being like a back in my day kind of person, because they're living their own experience. And I want them to live that experience obviously within reason, but I'm not saying I wouldn't change anything. There's probably a lot of stuff I would change, but tell him, 17 year old me, anything, 17 year old me would tell 43 year old me to shut the blank up.

John:

No, what I said, I, I, when I answered the question on, on one of the previous episodes, I compared myself to, um, you know, you're a fan of movies, right? Yeah. So you know, the back of the future series, and you may recall when, um, old Biff comes back with the sports Almanac with new Biff and you know, old, uh, new or young Biff doesn't want anything to do with old Biff so I kind of compared myself to old Biff, or I would, I would be like old Biff now and young John Grimes will be like, just get, you know, make like a tree and get outta here. And he beats him over the head with it. He's like, it's make like a tree and leave. That would be kind of my interaction with my younger self.

Brandon May:

Yeah. Yeah. I'm trying to hand you like basically a book of wealth and you're not going to listen to me, right? Yeah. Yeah. That's 17 year old me. Wouldn't listen to me now.

John:

No, No way. Cause you're old and that's not cool.

Brandon May:

Put 17, if I told 17 year old me, Hey, you're going to be a writer. 17 year old me would be like, Oh, that's lame.

John:

I don't think so, man. Let's let's do something else.

Brandon May:

Yeah. I've decided that I'm going to go into finance, which I would have just stunk at.

John:

Yeah. Yeah. Me too. We briefly talked on, uh, we touched on movies there. So a few other things I want to talk to you about, but we're probably running out of time for this, this time, this discussion, you were on another podcast with Kelly Walker's podcast Hustle and Pro, which is a Lifestyle Frisco thing few weeks or months ago. And one of the things you guys talked about were sports movies. And that kind of got me thinking. And I, I talked to Kelly on a few episodes ago. One of the craziest things that I heard was that you and I agreed on our favorite sports movie, which is Bull Durham. And I've actually heard from some other people that thought that's a, that's a great movie. And I think it is the best sports movie.

Brandon May:

It is the best sports movie because it is a movie that involves sports. It is not a sports movie.

John:

Yeah it's about what happens around baseball as opposed to baseball.

Brandon May:

Precisely, precisely they didn't worry about making sure that nuclear solutions pitch release was accurate or, you know, the, the swing was on point. It was about what happens between balls and strikes and road trips and relationships. It was a movie that just happened to have baseball in it. And that's what makes it the best because it was, it was, uh, it was about the downtime, like the best scene. One of the best scenes in the entire movie was when they go out to the mound and they start talking about what makes a good wedding, you know, like you can think about it, you're sitting in the stands at a baseball game and you see them all huddle up and you're like, Oh man, are they talking about? Yeah, no. And they're just talking about like, so, uh,

John:

Weddings next week are y'all going? Yeah. What are you going to get a lot candlesticks, make a great

Brandon May:

Yeah. Or, you know, want to go to olive garden later. Yeah. Okay. We'll do that. Yeah. That's the main reason I loved it. But, um, but yeah. The other thing that came out in that podcast, which I will openly admit, cause I feel ashamed is that I've never seen Caddyshack from start to finish. I know that's one of your favorites.

John:

Well, after we started, she asked me the question and I really wasn't prepared for it. Um, when she asked me my favorite sports movie, I feel confident with my answer Bull Durham, but it got me thinking about other sports movies. And you know, I think one of the things that's great about Bull Durham, everything you just mentioned, but there's also a comic, you know, theme to it. It's not a comedy, but there's funny stuff in it. And we talked about our, you know, we kind of started talking about movies with Jim Carrey in ACE Ventura back in those days, I like to laugh. I want, that's how I'm entertained as being as laughing. So, um, Caddyshack fits the bill for that too. And there, I can't tell you how many times, I don't know if it's daily, but it's definitely a few times a week where I'll be quoting something from Caddyshack, you know, regularly. And it's a little, I think I would be embarrassed to admit that I hadn't seen it either. How do we fix that?

Brandon May:

Well, I guess the main way I fix it is watch it, but um, yeah, at this point I've had way too much time. I've had way too much time. It's almost like at this point, I'm just, I'm a pariah. Um, this is, this is my Scarlet letter. Right. I will never go down with that, I guess. So I guess so. I mean, that's just, I've seen that I've seen the iconic scenes. I've just never sat down and watched it from beginning to end.

John:

Do you know them? I mean, can you repeat them? I'm not going to ask you to, but I mean like, you know, the lines, if somebody said one, you'd likely pick it up.

Brandon May:

For the most part. Yeah.

John:

But what's the funniest thing that you can think of from the movie?

Brandon May:

Honestly, the only thing that I really recall is the Bill Murray character. And the thing is, I don't even know what his name is. So shame on me, but him, him and the gopher and just the slurred accent. And then now looking at Bill Murray's character and his career. Yeah. It was like, okay, I see what he was doing there. Like that, that, that time, when he was making that movie, he was, he looked goofy. But then now you see what he's done over the course of his career. And it's like, this guys is savant because you saw Groundhog's day and then lost in translation. And then even now what he's doing with Wes Anderson films, because he was brilliant in all of those movies. So yeah. I, I need to watch it. I will watch it. I owe it to you to watch it before I even write your story. I will watch the movie.

John:

We got a lot of work to do. So we're going to write a story or maybe we need to get a couple of people together or a minimum of you and me, just in somebody's media room, close the doors, pop it in. And I mean, it's probably like 90 minutes.

Brandon May:

Can you rephrase that? Can you rephrase that? Yeah. I don't want to go into the media room, close the doors and pop it in, but could we.

John:

Let me be more specific? Yeah, let's go into media room, close the doors and, um, download the, uh, the stream. And, um, for, for going back to where you were, knock one out and I think we'd all have a good time with that.

Brandon May:

Sounds like a party.

John:

Uh, but you would probably be the only one in the room that hadn't seen it. So that might be a, a bad, bad place for you to be in. But

Brandon May:

Well then, you know, you guys better shut up, pay attention. Absolutely. Oh, you know what? We could do it like, uh, what do they call that theater where everybody recites the lines in the audience or something like that. I'd just sit there and watch while you guys just basically throw popcorn at the screen and everything.

John:
Okay. And you mentioned savant too. You're, you're a savant in the music genre from, let's say, I don't know, mid eighties to mid nineties with, uh, with hip hop. I mean, clearly listening to you now, obviously you're a hip hop savant, so I would like to get, I would like to get together with you again and talk about, talk about the, the glory days of, of music, at least in our time period.

Brandon May:
Yes. I would definitely say the glory days in the sense that what, and this is me talking to 17 year old me sounded like an old man. There's what they're doing today in hip hop is just terrible compared to late eighties, early nineties, hip hop, like that set the gold standard. And what my favorite part was like about six years ago, tribe called quest came out and put out a new album right before five died. And it was almost like them telling everybody, okay, you guys had your fun. Here's how the OGs do it. This is hip hop and they put out a spectacular album. And so I love listening to all of that stuff that paved the way for what we have now and what they've done, not just for music, but for a social movement. And yeah, we can talk about it now or we can talk about it later, but we definitely need to talk about it.

John:
Yeah. We're going to package that for our next discussion. And we're going to, we're going to talk about those days and hip hop. And hopefully we can expand a little beyond that because there was more than hip hop going on in those days. Um, for me to there, that was kind of a wild time of music exploration for me at that age.

Brandon May:
Yeah, grunge was coming through at the same time. And like everything was going different directions. It was beautiful time for music.

John:
Yeah. All right. Well, let's talk about that next time. Can we do it again?

Brandon May:
Absolutely. If you will have me.