Thursday, December 29, 2011

OOps! I Forgot to put Clothes on!


Oops! I Forgot To Put Clothes On!
Have you ever been so comfortable, that you go outside and suddenly realize you went out without first putting any clothes on?
OOPS!
I am sure almost everyone has stepped outside wearing something they normally would not wish to be seen in publicly. You know how it is. You are comfortable inside your home, and decide to take the trash out. Only after you have ventured far-enough from the shelter and privacy of your home, do you suddenly realize you are highly visible, and forgot to put on clothing you wish to be seen in! This realization comes right about the time another neighbor is in full-view. You know all too well, that if you can see them, they can fully see you!
You are at the point of no return. What do you do?
Do you act embarrassed and attempt to cover-up? Do you go about finishing your mission, offering apologies… and do so extremely hurriedly? Do you continue as if nothing is missing, and act like nobody can see you? Do you suddenly do an about-face and high-tail it inside for cover… and decide you will avoid that neighbor until they hopefully have forgotten what they saw? (And also hoping that neighbor never mentions it to another living soul?) Oh, the mortification, humiliation, embarrassment.
Perhaps you have never experienced this. It happened to me once. Surprisingly, it has happened Only once to me.
Yes, I really Forgot… and went outside naked. Yes, I know most people who Now know me are used to me being naked, and think it is hilarious that there was a time when I made sure nobody ever saw me nekkid. That time lasted from when I was twelve (1980) until I was almost 36 (2004)In November 2005, It happened, though. Why is this relevant right now?

The door across the landing from mine.
That little red card on the right is the note
from the Sheriff.
(But to the right is wide-open
to the entire courtyard)
Well, last week, it almost happened again. Where I live now, I do not go outside my front door nekkid. Since moving to this apartment in April, I will be nekkid on my balcony, but never publicly in the view of the complex. But last week, after my morning shower, when I opened the door for fresh air, I saw a notice on the door of the abandoned apartment across the landing from mine. It was from the Sherrif… and since this apartment had been vacant for almost six-months, I was really curious. As I almost stepped-out to read it, I realized I was nekkid, and turned back. Then also, last week, the mail lady came to my door with a package for me. The door was open, and she had already read the sign on my door before she even knocked. Since nobody lives across from me, I can leave my door open.




The Sign I put on my Front Door by JOn's ~=:-) view
The sign on My front door :)
Nobody has come up the steps in six months. As she knocked, she called-out “I have an open-mind.” This made me laugh, so I just came around the corner fully nekkid. (Well, I Was wearing a warm hat, and socks!) She smiled, handed me the package, and said “I like your sign, and you need to get more packages delivered.” She looked like I had just taken away all the stress of her job. Much like the day in 2005… This was the first time I met my mail lady. Both of these times made me laugh, and reminded me of the only time I went out accidentally nekkid….


I got my new apartment in Virginia in October of 2005. When this happened, it was only three-weeks later… But it was November, and Freezing cold outside!

(Every bit of color you see in the following photos was painted by me. This place was dumpy, grey, and dirty-white without any hint of love, care, or color for decades before. Whenever any paint was added previously, it was only whatever shade of white-ish paint they happened to have available. Many of these photos are throughout the two years I lived there, and were not necessarily in that first month. Unfortunately, I no longer have any of the photos from when I first moved-in... But you can see how I made it colorful, fun, and inviting!)


My door in Virginia. (this is after I painted it.)
To the left, you can see where the stairwell
and mailboxes are.
(I painted that area, too!)
This is the only photo I have showing
any of the bleak-ness of the building.
I had a normal day-off, and was happily making my new place into something I could call home. I was focusing on creative things to make what was before a rather bleak apartment into what was quickly becoming a comfortable place to live. I had spent the entire day focusing on creative painting, lighting, and artsy-stuff. The day was extremely positive, and comfortable!
Inside my tiny apartment.
Yup! This is the Whole Living Room!
...Looking right from just inside the front door.
Winter had already settled-in, and it was well-below freezing outside. The heat was included in the rent, and with boiler-pipes at 150 degrees running around the perimeter of the apartment, even with the windows and door open, it was not uncommon to still be 80-degreees inside. I Loved it! It was a concrete building, partially underground. My unit was the only one at ground-level… almost half-underground. The upstairs units each had their own heaters, but mine came off the boiler in the utility-room next door. Turns out my unit was also the only one with radiant heat… perfect for me!

And this is the view inside looking left from just
inside the front door. Those are built-in shelves,
and the bed is left of where the cat is...
...up high.
The apartment building was three-stories high, housing 9-units total. It was mostly abandoned, and had only one other unit occupied. It was fairly run-down, and had actually been slated to be torn-down. But zoning made it so they could not. Now the new owners were having to work to get people back-in. I happily took the apartment because it was affordable, and I could make it work for me. The ground-floor was built narrow, with the upstairs jutting-out in front and back, to provide covered parking. The parking was both front and back of my unit. My unit took up half of the ground-level (and was only 200 square-feet total). Next to my unit was the stairwell, then a breezeway thru to the back, and next to the breezeway was the boiler/ utility room. My front door faced the stairwell door, and front parking area. I had large windows in front, and small windows in back. Overall it was a cozy little place, but did not feel like a dungeon.

Looking out my front door.
You can see how close the parking was...
...and how totally visible my entire
apartment was... and why everyone
noticed all the changes I did.
Everyone who went upstairs literally came
across my front door.
This was a university town, and my home was smack in the middle of campus. On one side was a Frat-house. One the other side was a Sorority-house. In the back were several apartment, and dorm-buildings, and assorted other housing. The area in back was a shared parking, driveway, dumpster and general common space by all the buildings on the block. It was fairly secluded from street-view, but totally visible by every building, window, parking space, and balcony on the entire block.In the three weeks I had lived there, I had already gotten a comfortable feel about the neighbors, and neighborhood.



In the living room, looking into the
kitchen. Yup! That is The Whole
Kitchen!, And the bathroom is
equally small... just
behind the wall.
The bed platform is up to
the right behind the shelves.
The only neighbor who lived upstairs met me the first day, and never cared that I was always nekkid. Sandy was my age. She and I became good friends, and she often came to hang-out with me, and enjoy my home. The guys next door at the Frat-house were totally unaware of anything happening beyond their beer-cups. The girls at the Sorority-house often parked in the parking spaces around my apartment. They were happy to see someone finally living there, and often stopped-in to introduce themselves, and get to know their new neighbor. It was not uncommon for one of them to bring another friend to see the progress I was making in my little apartment, and this long-neglected building. Most of them appreciated artistic, creative things. Also, they appreciated that the parking lot was now swept, and I had replaced the lightbulbs outside. Even the Sorority-house-‘moms’ would come and say hi. Never did any of them even act like nekkid was unusual. Not once did any of them even make it at all uncomfortable. I was comfortable in my home, and the neighbors were comfortable, too. I had not yet met any of the neighbors out back.
The entire Kitchen.
(I am standing clear against the far wall just to get it in the shot...
it is a tiny space)
In the three-weeks I had lived there, I still had not yet met the mail-lady. I had left her notes, and she had left me notes, clarifying who lived here now, etc. She and Sandy (the upstairs neighbor) were friends, and she had heard about me, and peeked through the windows to see the apartment. But for whatever reasons, three weeks had passed and our paths had never crossed. This day, however, I was home when she came. My door was open. I was singing along to the music, dancing, and painting. Yup, I was nekkid. She kinda half-knocked, walked on in and introduced herself. She already knew I lived naked, and hardly even noticed. She was busy looking all around and enjoying what I had done with the place. After a few minutes, I asked if nekkid bothered her. She said she wished more people would be this comfortable. She told me about how happy she was to see how clean the place was becoming. She told me how much Sandy had told her about me. We chatted a while, and knew we would always be comfortable around each other.

Later in the day, I ordered a pizza… From Dominos, of course, since that is where I worked. Because I had gotten so comfortable in my new home, I never even considered putting on any clothes when Laura came to deliver. I had met Laura before, but did not know here well. I knew about her enough, that I never worried that she would see me nekkid. Turns out, she had already heard about my lifestyle, and also had seen the improvements each time she drove by, so she was excited when I ordered. It was a slow-day at work, so she stayed a while once she delivered the pizza. By the next day, when I was at work, everyone had heard about my apartment! (But nobody said she mentioned anything about me nekkid…)

The property owner also stopped in later that day. He had heard from his maintenance guy about how many changes I had made, and knew I was off today, so he wanted to see for himself. My door was open, of course. He half-knocked, and asked if he could come in. I had already met him when I signed the lease. He had told me I could do anything to the place, because anything would improve it from where it was currently. I asked if he minded that I was nekkid. He said it was no problem… but he wanted to take pictures, and asked if I would mind. I did not mind at all! (He made it clear he did not want pictures of me, but of the improvements I was making). He asked how I could afford the paint, because I had a lot of colors! I explained that I buy them at Lowe’s… as the oops paints (only $5 a can!) He asked if it would be alright to show prospective tenants my unit, so they could see the possibilities of how they can have creative fun in their own units. I totally agreed. He was eager to get creative tenants, and add some cheer to his gloomy building. I was, too! After that day, every time he came and showed my apartment, he would leave a five-dollar Lowe’s gift card on my desk! (He managed to schedule the showings when I was always at work.)

This day was so incredibly positive, productive, creative, and comfortable! So many people had come into my home, knowing I was nekkid, and they were positive about it, too! I always made a habit of taking out the trash at the end of each day. So, as I was wrapping up my day, I gathered all the trash I managed to create… and proceeded to head out to the dumpsters.

I Totally forgot that I was Naked! As I was almost through the breezeway to the back, Several things suddenly happened that reminded me I was outside naked, in full-view of ALL my neighbors, in the freezing cold! In exactly half-a-second of time, all of the following occurred, to remind me I forgot to put anything on:
~The freezing cold wind howled through that breezeway, suddenly making my buns frozen (as well as other parts, too)!
~I heard a female voice (not too far away) talking.
~I Suddenly saw several other people walking from their homes toward me… and the dumpters.
~A group of people was sitting in the car no more than five feet in front of me.
~I had just emerged from a fairly dark corridor into a fully-lit, wide-open area.
~And a car pulled into the parking lot, fully shining the headlights on my naked, cold body!
My mind went through so many thoughts! Do I turn and run back inside? Do I stand there a moment, and see how people react? Do I attempt to ‘hide’ as I make my way to the dumpsters? Where is that female’s voice coming from? Will any of these people freak-out? Suddenly, I was out of my comfort-zone, and incredibly vulnerable! What should I do??

All those thoughts lasted no more than a fraction of a second… Then the cold really got my attention! I decided to just continue on to the dumpsters as if this was not at all unusual. (Of course scared to death the whole few second it lasted!) Haha… in case ya did not know, when bits gets cold, they tend to withdraw, and become miniscule. Also when confronted with anything that could be threatening, or cause fear, they retreat further. So, Not only was I making my naked debut here, I was also incredibly… ummm… Shriveled, and tiny!

Now was when the rest of the events unfolded:
~The girl whose voice I heard was apparently talking on the phone, and was on the balcony directly overlooking where I was. She told the other person on the phone, “hold on a second… and come outside, then you’ll believe me!” (I hoped she was not saying that because of me… But she immediately stood up and was leaning over her balcony watching me, and grinning!)
~The people in the parked car right in front of me kept talking, and hardly glanced my way at all.
~The people in the car that had pulled in and shone the headlights on me parked, and got out, glanced at me, smiled, Said "Hi"and went on to their homes as if nothing was abnormal.
~The other people walking toward me with their own trash proceeded to the dumpster. Not a single one of them stopped, or hesitated. They got there the same time as I did. One guy just gave me a nod, and said, “Hey.” One girl, looked like she was totally unaware that anybody else was even out there. Another girl smiled, and said, “Hi.” Just like any friendly neighbor would. She did glance down, and grin, but then just said, “Have a good night... and get warm!” As she walked away again, looking quite pleased with herself.
~ Other people appeared on other balconies, but not a single one of them said anything, or even acted like this was unusual… But they watched, and grinned the whole time!
~The only unusual one was the girl on the phone…and her friend she had been talking to. Her friend appeared on the balcony next-door, and she immediately exclaimed, “You weren’t kidding!” Then she ran back inside for a second. The first girl was still smiling, and leaning over the railing. She said, teasingly, ”Looks like it’s kinda cold out there tonight!” And before I could reply, her friend re-appeared and started taking pictures of me. I was kinda afraid of what she was gonna do with those pictures. Then the first girl said to me, “Don’t worry… she’s not going to get you in trouble. This is her first time seeing a naked guy in just everyday life. Until now, she did not believe me that people can go naked in a non-sexual way. You just helped prove my case!” I told them both that I was freezing, and needed to get back inside. They giggled, and asked where I lived. I told them. They said they hoped to see more of me.

I got back inside with frozen buns, (and other parts, too!) and immediately jumped into the hot shower. While I was Showering, Sandy came in. She had seen everything that happened when I took the trash out, and was dying with laughter. She said it made her night! I Liked having her around. She was fun, free, happy, and loved to find positive in life, too!

Before this night, I had Never accidentally been seen naked by anyone! I always was fully aware of who saw what, and when. I made sure it was always safe ahead of time, and I was so guarded about how, and when I allowed myself to be visible. This just helped to further my already-in-progress road to freedom. I already knew I was never doing anything wrong by enjoying nakedness. I knew the laws, and was not at all doing anything illegal. (Simply naked is not at all illegal. It only becomes illegal when one is Lewd, or Obscene. I am never either of those. … Sadly, most people are under the belief that simply naked is somehow both of those. Even most police officers wrongly believe this, and although they might arrest someone for being naked, the charges would be dropped if there was no lewdness, or obscene actions. This goes along with how, for some reason, most associate naked with sexual. Simply naked is not sexual. It is too bad that so many people wish to turn something so simple, and shameless into something it is not.) But in that neighborhood, I discovered people who understood the difference, and welcomed it!

As I showered, and headed to bed I realized something wonderful about humans. As long as you are not doing anything harmful, and do not act weird, they accept you for who and what you really are. The result of my accidental (unplanned) nudity just helped me to accept myself even more! That was possibly one of the Best Days as far as growth, acceptance, learning to be comfortable in who I am, and over-all feel-goods!
That Apartment turned out to be my absolute favorite, and most comfortable place to live! I had found a place where people accepted others for who and what they were. I found a place where nobody cared if the blinds were open, or closed... in fact, most people there never closed their blinds at all. That tiny apartment could have easily felt like a dungeon, and fish-bowl, because it was so incredibly visible to everyone. Everyone all around that neighborhood made it clear that I could keep my blinds and door open, making it feel even larger than it was, and not making it feel like I was at all vulnerable, or needed to hide who I was.

Even when the college kids' parents and family would come visit them, not a single one of them acted differently toward me, than they did when their family was not around. In two years of living there, Not one single person ever had a problem with anyone else for how they looked, dressed, or did not dress. Not even the police... because it was in the University, It was regularly patroled by both the University Police, And The City Police. I got to know the officers, and never once did any of them ever think twice about seeing me nekkid outside.

Oh how I wish I could find a place like that again....

There are plenty more fun stories that took place while I was living there. I will eventually write more about my favorite apartment, and the people who came to live as my neighbors.

Update: June, 2012, I have written some more about the wonderful activities in this apartment building, and my neighbors here: http://enterwithanopenmindorclosedeyes.blogspot.com/2012/06/get-naked-on-roof-for-memorial-day.html

As you head-out with the trash tonight, may you find comfort in whatever you are, or are not wearing... ~=:-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fall is When...

Fall Is When…
Here is something I just found while sorting old stuff. I wrote this for Kathie in the fall of 2006, and wanted to share it.
I do not recall what exactly inspired this, or what was happening at the moment… But I do recall the feeling it created….
As I retype it, it seems to represent so many possibilities. Perhaps you will find it represents Life. Perhaps you will find comfort in a recent death. Perhaps you are blue from the onset of winter. Perhaps you find no greater joy then the onset of spring. I think this can fit any and all of these… And Much Much More! May you find what you need in the words I wrote so long ago…

Fall Is The Time of Year When…
Oh No! Is it Fall, so soon?? by JOn's ~=:-) view…The Dark of night creeps into our light.

…All the critters are nesting and storing food away.
The time of frolic and play is going to go away.

…The warmth of the sun turns crisp and cool.
The comfort feels like it is on the run.

…Tan lines quickly fade away.

…All the beauty and color of summer begin to fade.

…The blooms will curl up to die.

…The greens will start to turn brown.


This surely feels like a good time to frown!
As we feel the dread of the loss of our true comfort of summer,

Everything seems to go grey and cold.
We realize nature must take away before
It can give us even more!

For as the night comes all too fast,
We suddenly have moon and stars to last!

As The critters retreat into hiding,
Snowmen and Snow Angels come out from
Where they have been residing!

As the warmth of the sun seems to abandon us,
Suddenly we are amazed at how spectacular the glistening
Of the frost fills our desire,
And we embrace the comforting warmth of the fire!
We remember the comfort of that old favorite sweater!

Fall Buds, Fall Trees


As the tree leaves are seeming to be about to curl up and die,
We realize the spectacular beauty they give us as they go!




As the flowers begin to shrivel & drop,
We surely notice what seems like a loss…


…UNTIL SPRING…

Snow Explorations 059…It is then, we are suddenly surprised
By the gift of love those flowers so carefully left behind,
As they were all-to-eager to go away.
Somehow we always fail to notice how much we gain
As something we love goes away.
We quickly forget during the cold
What beauty we truly hold.

How we wish what we had,
Was still here,
Because, truly we become sad.
Those flowers that died
Left tiny little seeds scattered all around us.
After the snow melts,
We cannot believe how much that dying flower gave us!
Red clover fileds near Laurelwood
Come the Spring,
We feel so loved and so blessed
By what seemed a truly great loss in the fall.
The sunrises are more spectacular than we remember!
The critters that went away created baby critters
To show us it is time to play!
The warmth of the sun that had gone
Is now warmer than before!
We have more flowers now,
Than ever before!
Fall and winter seem to be the signs
Of what we loved going away.
But instead it turns out to be
The Most Beautiful Way!

I signed the note with the following:
Written by JOn
Inspired by life!
Motivated by Kathie!
Kathie, You Created this writing…
You truly are a beautiful creation.
You are the flower spreading your seeds.
You are wonderful!
This is but just a small way to say thank you! Love, JOn

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Wear Fun Pants!

Jimmi Hendricks, Me,n Just Ducky! by JOn's ~=:-) view
One of my first public outings in Portland...
How appropriate! I met Jimmi Hendricks!

FunPants!

Life is too short to wear boring pants. But I did not learn to embrace fun pants until I was 37. Oh, just to think of all the time I wasted! No worries, I know how to make up for lost fun-pants-adventures!

In 2005, I learned to let go of so many of the things that had kept me from truly enjoying all you can in life. That was when I realized I needed to stop always trying to please everyone else, and learn to find some joy for myself. And, Ya know? I learned I could do both! I found that I could do what I truly enjoyed, and at the same time, most people would embrace, and some would often join in my activities! I found that I could find joy, and those that were really my friends would also enjoy what I did. I learned I could be truly who I am, and stop worrying about “What others might think”.

sellwood 133One of those joys I discovered was the wearing of what I call “Fun Pants”. To me, fun Pants are any pants that are not boring, ordinary, or what you find everyone else wearing. They are comfortable, practical, colorful, and match my personality. Sometimes they are shorts, and sometimes they are long-pants. They often have really fun designs, or wild colors. Occasionally, I even wear some that are just one solid color. Sometimes, they can even be just a pair of jeans, or jean-shorts that are not boring anymore… due to either wear and tear, or modifications by scissors. (Grin!)

For Many years, I had been wearing underwear that qualified as fun, but that was when I was totally into hiding who I was, so nobody ever saw me in my underwear. Don’t worry… when I say I was wearing fun underwear, it was nothing like ladies underwear, of even fetish-stuff. Remember, while I Do have funny quirks, I still like comfort, and am not into any of that sexual stuff. My underwear is simply fun and colorful, and sold in the menswear department… straight off the shelf… Nothing terribly exciting, just not boring. Sorry to disappoint you…ha! Perhaps one day, I shall write about that… Ha! I just thought of something really funny… Ya know, in all my life, there has not ever been a photo of me in my underwear!(actually, there was one time... But I put on red underwear over blue tights and posed as superman... but that photo is no longer anywhere to be found) This strikes me as funny, cuz I do not hide it, nor am I ashamed to be seen in it. But for some reason, it has just never happened. Hmmmm…. Oh well, enough about my underwear. Back to Fun Pants!

first day of spring, jantzen beach 070Often fun pants fall into the category of tights, leggings, spandex, lycra, etc. I fully understood before ever wearing some myself that most people only accept this type of clothing for sporting, or athletic-type clothing. For some reason people fully accept these pants, or shorts, if it is seen during an athletic event, but seem shocked when one is wearing them in every-day life. I also know that for some reason most people accept these on women, but are shocked to see them on men. I think all of this is nonsense. If someone wants to wear comfortable clothing, they should! I have always enjoyed others I’d seen wearing these, but for all too many reasons, I always was afraid to do the same. Much of this is due to my own wanting to hide, and never have anybody see who I was. I also understood how many who wear these wear them for reasons of showing off, or to attract attention. I do not fit any of the above stereotypes. I am hardly an athlete. I hardly want anybody to ever look at my body, and most certainly never want the attention that comes from those looking at my body, or parts of my body. My body just happens to be the shell I was born with that happens to contain my character, personality, and who I am. What I am, and who I am has nothing to do with what my body is. When I finally discovered that my body is not anything to be ashamed of, or to be hidden, I also learned that even when someone sees my body, in all its imperfectness, they are seeing a creation made by God, and they can accept it, or not look my way. This understanding, and acceptance in my own mind helped me to grow, and thrive in life where I had previously hidden, and wished to remain invisible.

I discovered the joy of fun pants in Virginia. The ones I found that opened my mind to the possibilities was a Zebra-striped pattern I found in a thrift-store. When I put them on, I knew I had found the best pants ever! They were soo comfortable, and the print made me smile. I would cautiously wear these new pants in semi-public places just to see how I was treated. Often, around my apartment complex, or out hiking were very safe places. The funny thing about this, was I had already learned to be nekkid fully in public, and never hid while nekkid, but the testing of wearing these pants was like being seen nekkid for the very first time! I found that not one single person ever seemed to care that the pants were snug, and fit my body very well. I also found that those who reacted at all to the pants were very positive, and often asked where they could get some! The positive reaction to these pants helped boost my own outlook on how others viewed me as a whole person. I Knew they would be acceptable, and welcomed the moment I decided to not put on other pants over them when I stopped at the grocery store after a day of hiking. The store I stopped at was one I shopped at regularly, and I was hardly anonymous. I even went through the checkout line of one of the girls who also worked with me at the Dominos. I was testing my own ability to allow myself to be seen publicly. She acted as if I was not wearing anything different than when I was in my regular pants.

I soon found many wonderful fun pants. It was still winter, so I could wear these all the time, and stay comfortably warm. I found these to be far more practical than long johns. I always wore fun pants under my work pants. The feel, and comfort always made me smile, and kept me warm, too! I found it hard to believe that so many people had not already discovered how practical these were. I scoured the thrift stores, and found many wonderful types. I was getting a collection of electric blues, zebra, and other fun-stripes, and even just some plain-colors. But they all had the same fun. You could not help but smile when ya put these on!

Fun on "Secret" abandoned Wharf :)

While I would occasionally wear them publicly around town, I found I was still not quite ready to be always seen in them. I was still learning to accept this for myself, and not fully ready to be completely visible to the entire world. Often, I would wear them under torn, or holey jeans. Occasionally I would wear shorts over them. (Which I found to be totally hilarious, since I hated that look, and thought it to be totally ridiculous…) but I was doing exactly that. I finally figured out why… Even though I was never ashamed to be seen nekkid anymore, the thought of wearing “revealing” clothing that seemed to totally “show” every dimple, wrinkle, line, and curve of my body seemed to be something I was not quite ready for. Also, I realized that If I was not ready, the people I was around would not be ready.

Sunshine, Colorful Shorts, and The Desert

As spring, and summer came, I found I was gathering quite a collection of shorts in the same fabric. When it got too warm to wear the long pants-style under my regular pants, I always wore the fun-pants-shorts! It was soo much fun! The comfort, and feel were far more exciting than any underwear could ever be, and just knowing I was wearing them made me smile all day long! When I went out hiking, I always wore the fun-pants shorts. (Well, when I was not nekkid!) I often stopped in town for shopping, or food after hiking, and never covered-up the snug shorts. But for some odd reason, I seldom wore just the long-pants style publicly. The more I thought about this, I realized I was still trying to please other people, based on what they thought, instead of doing what I needed to do. I understood this, but I was still not quite ready to be the one to shatter their image of what a person should or should not wear publicly was. I was still trying to not create any waves. I still had some growing to do…

I always wore the fun pants under my regular pants. From October through March, I would wear the long ones. From April through September, I would wear the short-ones. When around my apartment complex, or especially out hiking, I never covered them up. People in those setting were very open, and relaxed. Often I found quite positive feedback from those I was around in those settings. Other people tended to “sexualize” these type of pants, and that made me uncomfortable. I was harldy interested in attracting any kind of attention in a sexual nature. So I would “Hide”. This “hiding” continued well into the year 2009.

Playful:)

From 2005, until 2009, those who were close to me would often see me in my fun pants. I occasionally would be seen, and even photographed wearing these. I would continue to hike in them, and be seen around my home in them. But I was always cautious about when and where I wore them publicly. In winter, I loved that I could wear them for warmth. Once ya discover tights, leggings, or other pants that actually fit, you will never wear long-johns again. These are so comfortable, practical, and are designed to actually fit the body. Long-Johns are designed to be bulky, bunch-up, are not designed to fit the body, and are never comfortable. When long-johns get wet, they are terribly uncomfortable, get heavy, saggy, and cold. When Fun Pants get wet, they stay warm, you do not feel the wet, they do not sag, they do not bunch, they stay warm and snug. Fun Pants behave just like your skin… just more colorful!

Me n Tabitha on the Edge:)
Tabitha was one of the brave friends who was out with
me when I first srtripped-off the pants covering the
Fun pants! She was never embarrassed to be seen with me!
In 2009, I finally got to the level of comfort with my own body that I was willing to be seen daily around town in my fun pants. I embraced the fact that I was born with parts that would designate me as male, and that these pants made those parts almost impossible to hide. Women proudly show off the parts they were given, and it is even expected. So, why is it considered wrong that a man does the same? I was finally at a place where I did not worry about the preconceived notions most people had about these pants. I knew that they totally accepted them, and even embraced them when it was an “athlete”, and they would just have to accept me in them as well. For some reason, if a guy wears these in plain colors as an athlete, they are totally acceptable, but because I wear them in fun patterns, and colors, and in normal, everyday life, people look at them differently. Too bad. I also noticed that if they were plain, and had the logo of “UnderArmor” they would be totally acceptable. Why is it that the stuff usually designed, and considered acceptable for men is only in blue, black, grey, or white? Are men color-blind? Are men not allowed to have any fun, or any personality? Do the women want their men to look boring, dull, and drab? Do the women want their men to be dressed in square, block-shaped clothing? Are people really that afraid to acknowledge they have a personality? It is not my fault that most men are afraid to dress in anything fun, colorful, or with sense of personality. That is their loss. I know that loss all too well. I allowed myself to be trapped in that mentality for far too long. I got tired of dressing to please others. I wanna have fun in life! I wanna wear comfortable, fun, and practical clothes!

Ducky poses with Me, my Mom, and My Nephew
Yup! Even in VERY Public places...
And with My Mom, and Nephew, too! :)
In 2009, I finally allowed myself to be completely worry-free about who, where, and when I would be seen in my fun pants. I was not at all afraid of who I would see, or even if I would be photographed. I went freely all over the place, and was quite surprised at the level of acceptance. I find the irony in this quite funny. At a time when most men are doing all they can to cover every nuance of even having a body, and going to such extremes as wearing extreme baggy, square clothes to give the appearance of being no more than a block-shape with feet, hands, and head. Men have gone to such an extreme, that even when they wear “shorts”, they will only wear something that goes well-below the knees. They have somehow gone to the idea that their pants should not show any sign that they have a shape, legs, or even a butt. They wanna look like a block. When they wear “swimwear” it is baggy, saggy, droopy, long pants. Men have gone to the extreme that they wish to be completely uncomfortable. Women, on the other hand, have gone to the opposite. Women have decided to dress in very fun, and comfortable outfits. It always cracks me up when I see a photo of a man and woman together at the beach, or in a water-environment... Or anywhere in summertime, where shorts, or swimwear are worn. The woman embraces who she is, and wears attire fitting her personality. The men… well, I guess their clothing fits their personality, too! Haha. Women embrace that they have curves, and shape to their body. Women wear colorful, fun, patterned clothes. Men… wanna look plain. Hmmm…. Could it be? Perhaps I really am a woman… stuck in a man’s body?? Haha! Oh how this makes me laugh! If this is the case, then it really is true… I must be a lesbian! ~Grin~

What most people call “short-shorts” on men is anything that is at, or above the knee. When I was at Dominos in Virginia, the first time it was warm enough to wear shorts, everyone freaked-out at what I wore. Dominos has fairly strict dress-codes, and I totally adhered to them. The rule about shorts was that they must be the tan/ khaki-color, and not too revealing. No problem… I found some that were the right color, had pleated front, and had a nine-inch inseam. They were the same that would be appropriate in any business-dress situation. But for some reason, everyone there called them “booty-shorts”. This baffled me, because normal shorts had a six-inch inseam, and I specifically went long, because I knew how they already viewed anything that revealed the knees. They were so worked-up over these, that the manager immediately ordered some of the “official” Dominos ones… complete with logo, and said they would provide shorts for me, instead of having me provide my own. I was worried that their official ones would be baggy, and below the knees making me look like a slob. But when they arrived, I totally laughed, because they only had a six-inch inseam. The manager wanted to see me in them before she approved them… so I changed into them. She said they were just right! I took them off again, laid them on top of the ones I already had, and showed her that they were three-inches shorter than the ones I bought. She argued, and said the Dominos ones were longer… even though she could plainly see the length difference. I was actually thrilled! I got official Dominos shorts… and they were actually Shorts! They were also a bit more snug, than the ones I had bought, and I liked the fit. What was really funny, was the fact that they were so short, my fun-pants-shorts were longer than the actual shorts! But everyone accepted them, so I got three more pairs so I could always have clean shorts for work. I often wondered if she did this for me, knowing how I liked my shorts, and could use this as an excuse to get me “official” logo shorts, and also allow me to wear what I liked. She was wonderful in so many ways, and it would not at all be unlike her to do such a thing. Anyone else she ordered official Dominos shorts for were really long, so it always made me wonder if she did this just for me. I also think that when people there saw my legs for the first time, it kinda shocked them. Just the fact that my legs are longer than most people’s and really skinny does not do well to put people at ease when they first see them bare. Also, they are bare… totally shaved… so that also adds to the shock, I am sure. Then when they really get a look at my bare legs, they notice my legs are not just long, but come up to most people’s chests…. All that on the first time of seeing them can be a shock. Once I had on the official Dominos shorts, they were used to them, and also used to the idea of really long, bare legs. Most people learned they liked them, and stated so regularly.

It was not an instant decision to start wearing the fun pants, or fun shorts openly, when I finally decided to come out of hiding. It was a slow, painful process. It probably would have been easier if I had just done it suddenly. (I find it interesting how coming out of the naked closet was easier than coming out of this closet.) It took cautious, slow, and careful testing to be sure I was ready. I had started a little in Virginia, and got some great encouragement while I was there. Once I was back in Oregon, I was accepted with all the changes that had occurred from when I left, and until I returned. Those I was around regularly were very supportive, and encouraging. Then it took a little going outside my safety-zone… A little at a time. Going someplace with a friend while wearing the fun pants under my jeans, then deciding to remove the jeans, and testing their reaction the first time they saw me in them. It took just being in the middle of the city, and removing my jeans in full-view of anyone who wished to notice…. And waiting for any reactions, or freak-outs. I was always delightfully relieved when nobody even gave a second-glance! Then I would go about the rest of the day without the cover of jeans, and waiting, watching to see if I could handle the reactions. It took boarding a bus, and watching to see if the driver would freak-out, or if I would be allowed to sit next to another person, without them freaking out.

Smile! in Fun Pants.
The very first time I allowed my photo in Fun Pants to be public 
I remember the very first time I took a photo, and then published it on Facebook. (That was my Famous Cookies Album.) But even then, knowing that everyone on my Facebook was safe, and had already accepted me, I still was worried about reactions… and more so, because I had taken a possibly incriminating photo… and posted it! It all turned out great. Not one bad thing! I learned I can truly be who I am, and those who truly are my friends will still accept me. As I ventured further in my journey through life, I learned that those who were not my friends previously would become my friends, and those who wished to mean would never have been a friend in the first place. I finally became free, and did not hide my fun pants at all in the fall of 2009.

As I have gone through life’s adventures, I was often photographed, and never once shied-away from the camera. Often, complete strangers ask if they can have their photo taken with me. Most of the time people would capture me as a candid… and while I noticed their camera aimed at me, I never acted like I was aware of it… Then I would search to find where they posted that photo, and see what they had to say about it. This became quite a good way to boost my own esteem, and confidence. Here are two of the candids I found: The first one is my absolute favorite! I even got a chance to meet the fellow who captured it. If you click on it, you can see all the fun, positive comments from others who do not know me, yet found the picture to be a wonderful capture of who I am. (Each of these is another person’s photo-stream in Flickr… but they are safe, or I would not suggest you visit them.)

Resting Stick
The First candid I found...
And My Very Favorite!
(Thanks Kurt, Ya captured me well!)

Duckman
Thanks for the capture, Daniel!


It is difficult to find real shorts anywhere now. Most shorts manufactured are made with long inseams, and are made baggy. I find it extremely frustrating that I cannot buy real shorts. I occasionally find some at thrift-stores… but even those have a nine-inch inseam as the shortest ones you can find. I occasionally will make my own cut-offs, but more often, I will just wear the “long” shorts that I can find. I do not care for the scraggy look of the cutoffs when I am around town. I DO love the look of them for out hiking, or even just around home, though. I often go out in my fun pants shorts… What I wear as shorts is less than what most men wear as underwear. I find it hilarious how many men have gone to wearing extremely huge shorts and calling them underwear. How can wearing bunchy, baggy, non-fitting clothes under your pants be at all comfortable, practical, or functional? I believe underwear, and pants, or shorts should be practical, fitting, comfortable, and fun, too!

Watchin' Train go Over bridge
When I want to enjoy as much sun as I can...
...when I cannot be nekkid....
I will pull the legs up, and the waist down.
(these actually are quite modest compared to many)
When I am not wearing boring, normal denim shorts, I love to wear the fun pants shorts. I have many wonderful pairs of these in all kinds of fun patterns, and styles. Often, if I am not in a place where nekkid would be acceptible, for some odd reason, I can wear a pair of these, and even tuck the legs up, and the waistline down, so that they are smaller than underwear would be, and these are acceptable. I can wear these in places where I am enjoying the sun, and want as much nekkidness as possible, without actually being nekkid. People are funny like that… if they were underwear, the people would freak-out, but because they are shorts, just minimized, they are completely acceptable… go figure! I have met many wonderful people who actually inquire about these, and also say the same thing… that because they are actual shorts, designed for active-wear, they are acceptable, even though they are more revealing than underwear would be. Women tend to love these, and often stop to chat about them. The funniest part is that only women are happy about these… Men are freaked-out by them… yet if I were riding a bicycle, or wrestling, they would be totally acceptable by men. Sadly, there are men interested… but those men are not interested in the actual pants, or even interested in who I am, but wish to get inside my pants. I find it hilarious that the only time I do not offend men by how I dress is when those men are somehow hoping I would be gay. Likewise, usually the only time any male is interested in me, is when they are gay, and hoping I would be, too. Which always makes me wonder… these men are gay, yet they have terrible gaydar… how is this possible!? (Gaydar, for those who do not know is the abilitly to tell whether or not someone is gay. It is the combining of the words “gay”, and “radar”… meaning the person has the radar capabilities to tell if another person is gay, or not. I am the furthest thing from gay, yet I have excellent gaydar. I have never been wrong…. Because I pay attention to how people behave, and act. I watch how a person looks at another, and how they interact. But the men who find interest in me assume I am gay, and would be interested in them somehow. They have horrible gaydar. They always are surprised, and embarrassed that they thought I was interested in them. Why would they assume I am gay just because I wear pants that are comfortable?? Yes, I already know the answer to that… they see those parts that I was born with, and cannot think, or see anything else about me. They suddenly think that because I do not hide my penis, I must want them to touch it. Too bad they never learned to look into someone’s eyes to understand life, huh?) This, too, was a huge barrier for me to overcome. Just knowing that by wearing fun pants, I would automatically attract gay men, and have to tell them to get a clue was not an easy step to accept. I really wish I could understand the way most people want to make everything sexual. Can they not see how much they are missing in life?? There is so much more to find joy in with the actual human beneath the skin. But they immediately see the exterior, and they are no longer able to think straight.

For some reason, people are not familiar with fun pants, and those who stop to inquire, really wanna know about them... to the point that sometimes it is a bit awkward. But they approach it in a manner that is not creepy, so it is not a bad thing. Even for me, having someone wish to inspect you, or your clothing up close can be slightly weird… but in a good, almost fun, way. There is bad weird and there is good weird. I am all for the good weird… in fact I embrace good weird. Just because it is weird, does not mean I won’t like it, but it is just a new thing to figure out. As long as they are genuinely interested in the clothing, and not just trying to grope me, that is totally acceptable. I have always been open to learning, and allowing others to learn, as long as it is done with genuine motives. I have always been encouraged, and welcomed to do so with others, and I would not treat anybody else any differently. When people approach other people with true intentions, and not deceit, it is amazing how far one can go, and it is still acceptable. Learning, understanding, and knowledge can be a wonderful thing when done in the right spirit, respect, and proper approach. Mutual respect, understanding, and acceptance are the most important things any time somebody wishes to learn about any given subject. This happens regularly with both my shorts, and pants when they are the fun-pants-style. With the pants, it is not as weird, because there is much more area for them to inspect, feel, and admire the fabric, or material, but the shorts make it a bit more… umm, personal. But I have never had anyone do it to attempt to feel what was under the clothing. (HA! …except those few who have never felt or seen a completely shaved person…. While wearing the shorts, it is very obvious that I do not have a stitch of hair anywhere on my body, and often that in itself leads to a completely different level of interest… I find it amazing how many this is a new thing for…But that is a completely different subject, and a post all in itself!) Their interest in the clothing was genuine, and I could tell, or would not have ever let them get close. Perhaps these people will discover a new way to wear clothing because they met me, and I was not ashamed of what I wear.

I usually wear fun pants from October through March. The weather is much warmer in Vegas, so I have not had much opportunity to wear them until this week. Finally, the weather got cold enough that I could wear them! Until this past week, I only found an occasional day when I could wear them. It was still too warm. This week, I finally got to start wearing them daily!

Yup! These are the fun ones I pulled out to wear
when the weather got cold this week!
And it is fun to know I am wearing these
under my mandatory work costume. :)


Oh how wonderful it feels to wear them again! When I first got here last February, I was able to wear them daily for about a month. Then it warmed up, and I could only wear them occasionally. Even though I cannot wear them visibly at work, I can still enjoy the fact that I can wear them under my work costume. While others complain about the cold, drafty work areas, I am content, happy, and snug in my fun pants. When I hear others complain they are cold, I mention leggings, and they look at me like I am crazy. (Well, that is no secret… I AM!) But they look like it is a completely crazy idea to wear warm, and even fun pants under their work pants. Fine, stay cold. That is their choice. I am comfortable, happy, warm, and snug. Even in the changing room, I often hear people complaining about how cold they are. Yet, when they see me changing, they look totally freaked-out that I am wearing these… Yet I am warm. What is it about most humans that makes them afraid to dress for their own comfort? And Why do they look at me like I am the freak, when I seem to be the only one who has got it figured out? They are the ones checking out other guys, and looking, then act all freaked out when they see what they are looking at. It is pretty simple… if ya don’t wanna see what others are wearing, don’t make it a point of checking them out while they are changing~Duh!

It bothers me that I am forced to change in a room with people that behave like 13-year old boys in junior high. But that is part of my job. I do not have a choice in the matter. I could choose to dress according to what pleases them, but I still gotta be me! If I always dressed to please them, I would not be living my life. I would be giving up all the growth and understanding I have achieved in life. It’s just too bad, they have never been taught respect for others, and wish to attempt to make others as unhappy as they are in life.

I have found that most who criticize these pants have never worn them, or even know a thing about them. I always ask why they criticize something that is practical, comfortable, fun, functional, and completely useful, even logical? I suggest they try some, before they continue to criticize…. And you would think I suggested they go and jump off a bridge, and attempt to fly! My question is why wouldn’t ya wanna wear something fun, and comfortable?

I will continue to wear my fun pants!

Sooo Happy! Playing In The Rain!

As the years have gone by, I find I have gotten more and more comfortable about who I am. I openly share, and welcome others to get to know me. I stopped worrying about the fact that I was born with parts that hung awkwardly in front of me. People either accept me for who, and what I am, or they do not. That is entirely their choice. I accept others as they are, whether they accept me or not. I absolutely love when people are willing to wear what they want to wear, instead of what everyone else is wearing, or hiding under. I absolutely love when people are comfortable enough to wear the clothes that best fit their own personality. I know that person understands what real courage is. I know that person has been through hell just to be allowed to wear what best suits their life.

Perhaps you will entertain the thought of wearing something fun... Yup, It can be considered a daring step, But you will not regret it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

JOn's Famous Cookies

My Famous Cookies!
Do Not Lick the Screen by JOn's ~=:-) view
Do NOT Lick The Screen! :)













My Famous Cookies
In my last blog, I wrote about a favorite Thanksgiving. My cookies were a major part of that day. I have always wanted to write the story of My Famous Cookies, and this inspired me. I have scribbled the recipe down for others many times, but this is the very first time I have written the entire story, and included every little detail in the mixing, and baking process. The photos showing this process were taken two years ago, but show the detail, and process very well.

Anyone who has been in my life has experienced one of my magical creations, known as JOn’s Famous Cookies. By the age of twelve, I had decided most cookie recipes did not create a cookie to be called Famous, or Magical. I started playing, creating, experimenting, and taking notes about what worked, and what did not. The result is what is known as Jon’s Famous Cookies.
Me w new cactus in sand-art bowl. Campbell, Ca. March, 1980
Awww, wasn't I cute at Twelve? :)
But it did not just happen when I was twelve. This cookie, literally, was twelve years in the making. The history of my cookie is almost as fun as the actually cookie itself.

When I was a kid, I was introduced to the magic of food… Not just food, but the science behind it, that made it so wonderful. Food has simple, utilitarian purposes, no doubt. As living beings, we need food regularly to continue functioning. But understanding the science behind the food takes food from simply creation and consumption to a level far beyond simple.
Enjoying food, engaging the mind, playing with science, knowing about every ingredient, and how it changes when it is combined with another makes for something to be thoroughly enjoyed… From the moment you buy the individual ingredients to the moment you wipe your face after the last morsel has been consumed.

I learned how a wonderful creation did far more than just give you something to eat.
All my life, I have been fascinated with every aspect of food… The way it works, how it is grown, produced, created, transported, packaged, and sold. There is not a detail I would not pursue. I wanted to know what made it so versatile, functional, and practical.

My first official cooking class was when I was five. But I started my education the day I was born~ Literally! I was born allergic to milk, breast milk, and normal baby-formulas. The doctors were baffled (See? I baffled doctors from the moment I entered this Earth!) They could not find anything my body could have for nutrition, so I was kept alive for two week on an IV through my ankle. Finally, they figured it out, and put me on a soy-formula. There have always been peculiarities in the way foods react in my body compared to anybody else. It turned-out that I had a whole list of allergies… and they did not always stay the same. As a newborn, infant, and toddler, it was always a challenge to make sure I got nutrition that my body could handle. I became aware of food, and how it does different things at different times early-on in life.

By the age of two, I was actively involved in the food and how it worked. I was always in the kitchen, watching, learning, understanding all the little nuances of what was happening. Every adult in my life allowed me to watch, help, learn, and understand. When it came to baking, cooking, creating, and presenting, I was fascinated with every single thing involved. The idea that you could change a simple ingredient in so many wonderful, fascinating, and creative ways just by adding something to it was magical to me! I was not content to just be given food to eat. I was making sure I understood how the food was created. I noticed how it turned-out, and how it changed in the process.
I was fortunate that everyone who ever did anything in a kitchen, would also allow me to learn from them. They would let me learn, watch, help, and be involved. I had the pleasure to be allowed to help in every kitchen I was near. These included school cafeterias, camp-kitchens, other people’s homes, restaurants, community events, and almost anyplace else you could imagine where food was created. Most kids thought it was a bother, or a chore to be made to help in the kitchen. I found it to be a privilege, a thrill, an education, and something I totally thrived on.

I took every available class I could get. I always found it interesting, and often frustrating, how many of the instructors did not understand the science behind the food. They were attempting to teach something they actually knew nothing about. I learned that in many people’s mind, the whole idea of learning to cook, or bake was simply about following someone else’s instructions. When I would ask about the reactions, or how things behave once they are combined, the instructors would get upset, and tell me it did not matter… I just needed to know how to follow instructions. My contention was the whole reason for taking classes was to learn about the food. I already knew how to follow instructions. It seemed I found way too many classes that focused only on duplicating what a recipe said to do. I found that to be a worthless way to teach. It takes absolutely no talent, skill, or understanding to simply follow a recipe. What was the point of taking a class, if you only wanted to copy someone else? Isn’t the whole idea of a class, to actually learn, grow, understand, and have a better, well-rounded knowledge? To me, cooking and baking was more about understanding the product, the science, and how they all worked, changed, and reacted in different situations. I started my life with the science-approach to food, and would not settle for anything less as I grew and attempted to further my understanding, and knowledge, I kept seeking those who actually taught about the food. It took some effort, but I found that for every five teachers who just taught “follow instructions”, there actually was one who taught about the food. It took some searching, but we found them. My mom found that by signing me up for specialty classes with only a few students in each was far more beneficial than just the classes most people took. We found summer schools, and community colleges offered much more detailed lessons than the average classes. I learned early as a kid, that it seemed most people who took any kind of class only did so to get a tiny-bit of understanding about the subject. Most people were not interested in truly learning, let alone mastering everything there was to know. This always baffled me. Why would they NOT want to learn?

This desire to totally understand how food worked, and not willing to settle for less than magical, is what eventually led to the creation of what is now called JOn’s Famous Cookie. It took me twelve years, but the moment I finally created This Cookie, I knew I had succeeded. I had the winner. Ironically, I have never attempted to create another cookie recipe since. I created the one I had been seeking. My work was done.

This is not just my opinion. Yes, I came to this conclusion immediately, but Ever since then, I have been told by thousands of others who have had my cookies. People always ask for my cookies. They tell others about the experience. People who have never met me, or even tried my cookies, request them.

It has been suggested that I should enter them in competitions, and county fairs. Everyone is convinced I would win. But in my opinion, I have already won. A competition is not necessary.
Another fun irony about my cookies: I have had many gourmet cookie shops ask if they could sell my cookies in their stores. I would love to let them... If there was anybody who could duplicate the same cookie as I make. Because these cookies are made with my love, character, and personality, it is impossible for another to create the same cookie. The recipe is not complex, nor does it have any secret ingredients. When others attempt to create the same cookies as I do, they just come out different.

I have had great friends come into my kitchen, watch every step, take their own notes, and not miss a single detail… Yet, when they attempt to recreate the same magic, they cannot. I have even had them make ‘em in my kitchen right beside me, doing the exact same as me… but the magic is personal.
After years of observing this, it became clear that it was not just a fluke, or that maybe one tiny step was being missed. It simply is due to the fact that part of what makes my cookies what they are, is they are MY Cookies. My cookies are made with my love, my character, and my personality. These cookies all have a little bit of me in them… and we all know there IS only one Me! :)

When others create the cookie, they add a little bit of themselves. The cookie then becomes Their cookie… with their love, their character, and their personality. The cookies always turn out wonderful, and are as wonderful as that person is. But they are not my cookies. So, when you make these cookies, they will be YOUR Cookies. :)

So, Now you know the story behind My Famous Cookies. Are Ya ready to create some of your own??
Now comes the fun part….

Enough about the story. It is time to get all the supplies you will need.
Do ya wanna start with the ingredients, or the materials? (either way you’re gonna need a shopping trip!)

You will need the following:
  • Two Air-Bake cookie sheets. (Not the non-stick ones… those make the cookies too dark…and, YES… Two. Not one, not three..exactly two… you will see why later).
  • Three wire-grid cooling racks. (Yes, three… You will see why later)
  • A Very Large stainless steel mixing bowl. Yup, Only one bowl... but it's gotta be large!(You can use any kind of bowl, I like Stainless)
  • One Large, sturdy wooden, or bamboo mixing spoon
  • Large nylon, or silicone cookie-spatula … and it needs a straight, not curved, front-edge… and it should be beveled, so it slides easily under the fresh-baked, slightly-gooey cookies. (You will not be happy with the results if ya use a tiny one)
  • Glass Four-cup measuring cup (I Prefer Glass… because you can see very grain of the ingredient inside... but any will work)
  • Two individual One-cup measuring cups (‘Cuz If ya have only one, ya gotta wash it out to re-use it)
  • A Measuring Teaspoon (Only one. And ya won’t need an entire set, either!
  • A sturdy rubber, or silicone spatula (The kind for scraping the bowl, and measuring cups)
  • An Oven … believe it or not, a regular oven works best for these. Convection ovens are great, but not for these.(Can ya believe how demanding I am?? I Actually expect you to have an oven for baking the cookies in!) :)
  • Paper Towels (You can use any you wish… but I Like the ones with fun-prints) :)
  • Good music to dance to (This is a Key factor… ya gotta be in a great mood, or the cookies will taste like your mood)

Now for the Ingredients:
(I will list Name-Brands on many of the items. This is kinda critical for the quality, and consistency. Not every item needs to be a brand-specific… but those that I list should be. This is based on years of experience, and finding that the generic, or other-than-listed brands often do not create the same desired results.)
  • 2-cups Butter-Flavor Crisco at room temperature (Gotta be butter-flavor!... And, gotta be Crisco-brand)
  • 2-cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs (regular, everyday Large eggs.)… Preferably Chicken… Not Duck(especially not Rubber Duck!), Robin, Pteradactyl, or Ostrich! :)
  • 2-cups C&H Light-Brown Sugar (ya want the light-brown, NOT the Dark Brown)
  • 4-teaspoons Real Vanilla Extract (I Never use imitation… Always the Real Thing)
  • 4 to 5 cups Flour
  • 2-teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2-teaspoons Baking Powder
  • About 1-teaspoon Salt (Do NOT Attempt to go all healthy, by omitting the salt. It is Crucial)
  • 4 to 6 cups Quaker Oatmeal (It’s gotta be Quaker… And Regular Oats, NEVER Instant)
  • 2 bags Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 bags Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
  • About 2-cups Walnut Pieces (I buy the halves, and crush them into small pieces myself... not crumbs, but good-sized crunchy pieces.) Make sure to sniff them to be sure they are not rancid… Walnuts do not have a long shelf-life, and turn rancid easily. Make sure they smell fresh, or they will ruin your cookies.
Now we get to the Fun!
This is best done on an empty stomach, because you will not have an empty stomach by the time you are done! :)
Smile! in Fun Pants.
Proper attire is a must to help create the right cookie! :)

  • Wearing the proper attire is critical for helping with your mood, and DOES affect the final outcome of your cookies! If you desire fun, and silly, or if you are into an apron, and chef’s hat… whatever the right, fun, and happy outfit for you is what is needed. (If you should to choose the “No Outfit”, be sure to keep your bits from hot surfaces.)
  • Turn your fun, upbeat music up really loud. …and don’t forget to sing along, and dance, too!!
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Using a paper-towel, lightly grease the baking sheets with the Butter Flavor Crisco. You will only need to grease each sheet once, so grease each one evenly. Now, set the cookie-sheets on top of the oven, so they warm-up. (The warm cookie sheet is critical to a perfect cookie.) If your oven-top does not get warm, then pop them into the oven for a few minutes…just enough to warm them, and make the grease glossy.
  • In your large mixing bowl, combine the Crisco, and Sugar. Use the Wooden Spoon to cream them together, being sure to clean the edges of the bowl with the back of the spoon. Notice how the texture totally changes as you cream it together. You will end-up with a really-smooth, yet grainy blend. It will not be lumpy at all. Be sure to smell it. (You will see why.)
  • Now add the Eggs, Brown Sugar, and Vanilla. Stir/ blend it all well. As you mix, notice how the texture, and smell changes. If you make sure to mash it against the sides of the bowl with the back of the spoon, you will not have any lumps. You may need to use the rubber spatula to scrape the spoon, and sides occasionally… to ensure even mixing, and no ingredients left behind. You will notice how the aromas all blend together, creating an incredibly wonderful sensation. Then as you notice the new smell, you also notice you can smell how each ingredient also stands out by itself. Take a taste. What do ya discover? Remember, I did not create these just for a food to eat. Part of the magic is the smell, and taste, and feel every step along the way. You might be surprised how much more enjoyable it is to create when you know how each step smells, tastes, and feels.
Flour, baking soda, baking powder
Adding Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt

  • Now it is time to add the Flour… but Do Not Add All of It at Once. Add only 4-cups. Sprinkle the Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt over the flour. Using your wooden spoon, stir and blend, being sure to scrape clean the sides of the bowl with the back of the spoon. Keep blending, making sure to get everything off the bottom, and sides, and also mashing against the sides to get all the lumps out. As you blend it, you will see, and feel the texture totally become almost like a paste. It takes a little effort, and can be tiring, but keep blending. You want it to become a fairly smooth, thick, semi-solid substance. It will become seemingly dry, and the sides of the bowl will suddenly start to become clean. If it has the right amount of flour, it will become one solid blob, and there will be almost no dough stuck to the sides of the bowl. It will literally, clean the bowl itself. If it does not, then add a bit more flour... but only a little at a time. You can always add more, but cannot take it away once it is added. Your hands will feel the thickness. Your nose will smell the wonder, and your eyes will see a magical transformation. It is hardly sticky, and almost seemingly dry to the touch. Now taste it again. You can taste the creation happening, the ingredients changing. Can you also pick out each of the individual ingredients? You will also notice that it really IS sticky, but seemed dry when you touched it. Do you smell the new scent it gives off? Can you also pick out each individual ingredient’s smell? It may be tempting to eat handfuls right now, because it is sooo delicious at this point.
  • Now it is time to get rid of the spoon. You probably noticed how stiff, and thick it was as you finished stirring.
Oatmeal
Adding Oatmeal

  • Now you will add The Oatmeal…But Do Not Add It All at Once. Do the same as with the Flour. About four cups to start with. The Oatmeal is the glue that will hold it all together. The Oatmeal will be what retains the moisture, adds the chewy-factor, and how much you add will determine if they are dry, or perfectly moist. Make sure your hands are clean. Now with your hands, Plunge right in! Just squish, mash, and mix it all up. Notice, it really is quite a sticky mess? Keep blending the oatmeal into the dough. Enjoy the feel, and smell. As you squish it between your fingers, enjoy every texture. As you blend, you will notice each individual oat becomes coated with the gooey dough. There will be no dry oats, and no clumps of non-blended oats. You likely will need to add at least one more cup of Oatmeal. Add it, and Mix some more. You will have to decide for yourself if it is the right amount. You want the dough to have abundant amounts of Oatmeal, so that is almost seems like the oatmeal is the base, and the rest of the brown-gooey dough is just the filler. You literally want to see no spot without Oatmeal… But also you should not see any clusters of Oatmeal without dough. Add some more if needed. Once you have the perfect blend, this step is done. It is Gooey, Sticky, and Messy… But not one bit is without Oatmeal. Notice it is much stickier now than it was before the Oatmeal is added. Can you figure out why? Now taste it again. What do you taste? Can you also taste each of the individual ingredients? What do you smell now? Notice how the scent has changed from sweet to rich? How many of the individual ingredients can you still smell?
  • Now dump in All the Chocolate Chips, and Peanut Butter Chips. Do not mix them in yet.
Chocolate chips, peanut Butter chips, Walnuts
Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Chips, and Walnuts

  • Now it is time for the Walnuts. I like to crush the halves into pieces in my hands, and crumble them into the bowl as I go. You can use pre-crushed, or already small pieces if you wish. I enjoy the feel, and love the way when I crush them, it releases the fresh smell of the Walnut. By doing this, I can create the exact size of Walnut pieces I wish to have when I eat the cookie. I use about 2 cups of these… But you can add more, or less depending on your own desires.
As the final ingredient, the quantity will not affect the overall final product of the cookie. If I am baking these when my sister is around, I leave the Walnuts out, until I have put the first cookies on the baking sheet. Then, I will add the Walnuts to the rest of the batch. And similarly, when I am baking these for my friend Aimee, I withhold the Peanut Butter Chips until after the first batch is cooked. So, when it comes to the final three ingredients, you can omit, add, or even substitute some other ingredient.
Mixing
Final Mixin, Squishin, and Blendin :)
  • With your clean hands, it is time to get squishy again! Squish, blend, stir, and mix it all together. You will need to really work it to get everything all blended evenly. Enjoy the feel, as you blend it all in. This step is difficult, because the Chocolate Chips do not like to be buried in the dough. Chocolate chips like to stay out of the gooey stuff. But it is your job to make them become imbedded in it. You will not succeed in actually getting every chip to become part of the dough. (That will happen once you form the individual cookies.) Enjoy the feel as you blend it all in. Notice how the Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Chips, and Walnuts each have their very own feel? Notice how they each blend in differently? Notice you can still feel every single Oat in the already gooey dough? As you blend it, do you notice how the smells all come out? Now, taste it again. Do you notice how much it has changed again? Can you taste each individual ingredient?
finished dough
The Finished Cookie Dough :)
This is your finished product. The taste, smell, and feel will only change once the baking process begins. And even then, it will change several times.

Now we get to the baking:
Be sure and wash all the stuck-on gooey dough from your hands, before attempting to make the individual cookies.
Your cookie sheets should have warmed-up by now, and the grease on them should be clear, and glossy.
Using your hands, form large balls of cookie-dough. If you make them small, they will not turn out right… part of this cookie is the ability to get crunchy outside, yet remain chewy on the inside. To get the correct size, imagine you are using my hands. You will only be able to fit 8 per sheet. Do not flatten them… leave them as whole blobs. Arrange them so they each have about 2-inches between other cookies. Place 3 on each edge, at least an inch-and a half from edge. And place 2, staggered in between the rows of 3. (see picture) When they bake, and melt, they will spread, and take up every inch of space. Eat a blob of cookie-dough.
Raw. Only 8 fit per sheet.
Only 8 per cookie-sheet
Starting to droop...
As The cookies begin to Droop, and melt, Turn the pan around.
(Notice... the droop, and  spread is not yet significant, just beginning)
Set one sheet on top of the oven to keep it warm. Place the other sheet in the center of the oven, not touching any of the sides. (Only one sheet in the oven at a time. If you put two in, they do not bake evenly.) I wish I could tell you how long to bake them. But that is impossible, because these bake by the way they react, not by a timer. Watch the cookies. As they first begin to droop, and spread (see picture), rotate the sheet so the back now becomes the front.
Almost done baking
Almost Done.. As soon as they flatten-out,
they need to come out of the oven!




Keep an eye on them, and when they look like they are close-to-done, but still a wee-bit unbaked, they are done. Pull them out now. Pull that sheet out, and set it on the cooling rack, leaving the cookies on the sheet.
Place the second cookie sheet in the center of the oven.


just out of oven...gooey goodness
Just out of the oven, and on the rack.
Notice the cookies are still liquid, and gooey.
They will finish baking outside of the oven.



Do Not Do Anything with the ones that just came out of the oven. This is the final part of the baking process. (It is tempting to attempt to eat one of these fresh-out of the oven… DO NOT EAT IT YET! It is molten, and will burn you badly!)Smell it, look at it, and enjoy all there is to enjoy about how they have changed in front of you… but do not eat it yet.






Bake the ones in the oven exactly the same way you did the first. When you turn the pan around, Now is the time to do something with those on the cooling rack. (Remember, the sheet will still be very hot!) Using your cookie spatula, carefully remove each cookie, and gently place it on the second cooling rack. Each cookie will still be very gooey, and easily fall-apart if you are not careful. Using the cookie-spatula, set each cookie directly on the rack, not piled on the other. (DO NOT ATTEMPT to Eat it Yet… two more minutes, and it will have cooled enough for careful nibbling.)

Once you have removed all 8 cookies, use the flat-front-edge of the spatula to scrape off the cookie-sheet. There will remain a film of grease, but it should not have any cookie-bits. You want the film of grease, for the next batch. It might be tempting to use a paper-towel to completely wipe it clean, but you want that layer of grease to remain.

While the empty-sheet is still hot, shape, and arrange another 8 cookies onto it. Let it sit on the top of the oven so it stays warm. Eat another blob of dough. NOW you can EAT The Fresh-Baked Ones!
Watch the ones in the oven, and remember to pull them out before they are completely done. Place the sheet on the cooling rack. Place the one from the top of the oven inside. When those begin to droop, and you rotate the pan, it is time to take the others off the cookie sheet, and onto the cooling rack…. BUT be sure to place them on the Third rack.

You now have two full racks of cooling cookies, and one empty rack for the next hot sheet to come out of the oven.

Scrape the cookie-bits off the sheet. Make more cookies, and place them on the still-hot sheet, and place it on top of the oven. Eat another blob of cookie dough. Eat another warm cookie.
Repeat this cycle for every sheet. But when the third batch comes out of the oven, and the sheet is placed on the rack, you will now stack the first batch that was cooling, still leaving them on the rack, but now stacked, so you have room for the next set to be cooled. Eat another blob of cookie dough. Eat another warm cookie.

You will quickly find a rhythm, and get the timing down. Just remember to rotate the pan, pull them out before they are fully done, and let them finish cooking outside of the oven. Remember to place the next set on the sheet while it is hot. Stack the cookies only after the third set has come out of the oven, or they will not have set properly.

Finished stacks
Finished Stacks of Magical Wonderment :)

By the time I pull the very last pan out of the oven, the kitchen is completely spotless. The Only dishes left to wash, are the one cookie sheet, the spatula, and the three cooling racks.

Leave the cookies on the cooling racks until they are completely cool. (If you have trouble with insects –such as ants- coming into your kitchen, and getting into anything left-out, I have a solution for that, too!... Place each rack in a shallow pan of water. A shallow baking pan works well. The ants will not cross the water… kinda like a moat around a castle. Just make sure the water is not up to the rack, or you will have wet cookies!)After the cookies have completely cooled, place them in air-tight containers. They are big, so not many will fit in any container, but the Gallon-size Ziplok baggies work well. These cookies travel well, so put some in your pack, and head-out! Even once these are completely cool, they will remain soft and chewy inside, yet crispy outside. If ya want it to be like it just came out of the oven, just pop it into the microwave for 10-seconds.


Do Not Lick the Screen


ENJOY JOn’s Famous Cookies! ~=:-)