Friday, September 30, 2005

On the Business of Screwing Up One's Papers

Current music: “Bomber” by Motorhead.


Paper screwup #1:

We’ve got a lot of short (5-6 pages) papers due in my classes this semester. Probably a dozen in all.

Last night I learned that I’d somehow turned in a rough draft of a paper and a final draft of the same paper for two assignments.

The kicker? He didn’t catch it. The rough draft got me an 85, the final a 91. Nice to see that finalizing a paper did indeed improve it at least.


Then came the exchange with Amber, who is also in my Saturday class. She wanted to ask me a question about the paper that’s due.

My response:

(You guessed it)

“What paper?”


Looks like I’ll be busy tonight…


There is one (1) other new male student in the grad psych program. He’s brilliant, all of 22 maybe, and utterly immature and full of himself. Being around him is painful. When he's not talking about himself he's saying wholly inappropriate or embarrassing things. Someday he'll be good at this, as he's quite intelligent. But my God... I feel like an old wolf around him, just watching the young pup go bananas... I shake my head, just sit back and let him make a fool of himself.


Happy Friday.


Thursday, September 29, 2005


One temperature change, one sick kid. Turns out THEGIRL was up much of the night, coughing. I slept through it all (really). I awoke at 6am to find Kelli and THEGIRL in the rocking chair. I hit the gym for a very good workout, took the boy to school and left them sleeping there. They looked adorable asleep in our bed when last I checked in.


Got my new cellphone in a hurry. Cingular didn’t mess around. I think the new phone arrived at my door in two days. They included a postage paid mailer to put the old one in. Hoorah!


I have some grey hairs in my nose, and you know, that’s just not fair.


Check out the Andy Johnson piece. Good reading.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Terrestrial Ephemera

Cool… the UK’s University of Glamorgan is offering a degree in astrobiology. Yep, that’s the search for extraterrestrial life.


I’ve started the search for new, terrestrial daycare for the kids. Today I visited a neighborhood place that left a decent first impression. I’d say they’ve got a very good staff, good curriculum, and modest-yet-clean, well-maintained facilities. Kelli needs to see this place too, of course. I have another I hope to visit soon.


Transitioning the kids from Primrose, the only school they’ve ever known, concerns me greatly though. Gotta figure out how to do it.


Moments of clarity:

Not to knock Johnny Cougar, but he was sort part of one for me, musically. We were driving from Houston to Lake Jackson when I was 14 or 15. It’s about an hour-long drive, and the radio played “Pink Houses” about five times. And I remember thinking that I KNEW there were more records in the record store, but radio just wasn’t cutting it for me, variety-wise. I knew I’d have to seek out good music on my own. And I have been ever since.


Standing at a Judas Priest concert in the late 80s, watching my mullet-sportin’ brethren rock out, chucking lit cigarettes, and just generally raising a ruckus. But… the DUMBNESS of it all overwhelmed me. I hated it. Leather, motorcycles, fist-pumping… I suddenly felt like I was an active participant in a cartoon, some sort of satire of my life.

(Thus spake the man who occasionally thinks, “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead is the greatest song ever.)


Realizing that, for some people, there’s no happy ending.

That won’t be me.

Giant Squid!

Giant squid! Badass!


Okay, I don’t have allergies like Georgina from what I can tell, but you know… this last week or so has sucked. I wake up sneezing, stumbling around, just an oozy, sneezing, miserable mess. I put a new filter in the AC this morning, so maybe that’ll help.


Current music: “Let’s See Action” by the Who.


Someone stole our department coffee this morning! I set it to brewing, returned to my desk to do some work, and when I went to fetch the pot it was gone! Some brunette from the Dallas office was scurrying out of the kitchen with a pot.

I followed her: “Did you take our coffee?”


The nerve!

She said, “You shouldn’t just leave it in there.”

“I got tied up. I’ll bring you another pot.” (I’m too freakin’ nice).

What the heck? Leaving the pot in there is justification for her TAKING it?


Whoa… Launch is playing a Billie Holiday song I don’t think I’ve heard before called “Tenderly.” Jeez, this is gorgeous. I’ve gotta dig through my CDs and see if I’ve overlooked or forgotten this.


Sterling came over for dinner and a school night play date. The boys were quite good, had a lot of fun. Ushering them into the back yard does wonders!


12-13 years ago, in the control room at a TV station in Austin, one of the audio engineers had his backpack open, and a notebook laying on the table. In the pocket was this flyer for some sort of organization of guys who are into guys' nipples. They had these techniques for elongating them, in fact. The flyer had these photos of big, beefy gay guys with these insane nipples. This was ENTIRELY surprising to me, and man, I've seen some kinky shit in my day. You know, I've never seen anything like it since. I guess since I don't troll around the gay porn world I miss some stuff.


The owner of the backpack was a straight guy, btw. A really strange, open-minded straight guy. Eh, maybe he was even more open-minded than I realized.


Happy Wednesday, ya’ll.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

AL East Champs?

Apparently MLB is getting an early start on hawking AL East champs merchandise.

Thing is, we don't yet know who the champs will be.

Check this out.

Yeah, they're selling equivalent stuff in Yankees gear too. Weird.

DEFCON 5, Baby

Please note that my cell phone works only intermittently right now, so reaching me that way is iffy. I’m exchanging it in a couple days.


Trying to score new daycare for the kids. Primrose is terrific, but now we’ve gotta do something different. We just can’t afford that place anymore.

A couple of good candidates emerged yesterday during my frustrating search.

It’s surprising who doesn’t return your phone calls in a situation like that. As much money as we’re still going to drop on this, you’d think any potential lead would make a business owner at least call me back.


THEBOY got in trouble yesterday, the poor kid. I say that because he’s so conscientious that he gets pretty rattled when he screws up and has to spend a few minutes in “the thinking chair.” It’s like a time-out. He’s four, so he gets to spend four minutes there.

I sent him there because he walked up to his sister and suddenly swatted her sippie cup out of her hand. She didn’t care, but I was startled at how random and mean it seemed. I was pretty pissed, and maybe that’s part of why asking him why he did it produced no answers. I know he was just messing around, just doing what he does in his never-ending quest to get a response out of her.


So he spent his four minutes there. When I told him he was done, though, he knelt behind the chair and cried. Sad, but I stand by my punishment. I wish I hadn’t been quite so incredulous and angry beforehand, but he did deserve to be punished.


Spanking… heh heh… You know, lots of folks are against it. I don’t claim to have the answers, but by and large, I’ve found that these people do not actually have kids.

THEBOY has had a handful of spankings, and they were mostly noise-making, dramatic affairs intended to make a point rather than inflict pain. Usually it’s a rolled up newspaper, which makes a nice pop but probably doesn’t hurt at all. And I’m guessing it’s been well over a year since Kevin’s been spanked. Laura, not yet two, has not been spanked.

In our household, the threat of a spanking is the motivator on those rare occasions when unusually bad behvior is on display. It’s kind of like nuclear capability; you hate to think you could actually use it, but sometimes you have to conduct your business while making it clear that it’s a very real possibility.

Experts say that you’re gaining nothing by, say, punishing a violent child with violence. I can’t disagree with that.

But that’s not really what’s going on here. I’m talking about something that’s more flash than anything, something that will always (hopefully) trump whatever escalation some misbehaving kid will dish out. A two-year-old is fully capable of going absolutely, 100% ballistic and inconsolable and unstoppable over absolutely nothing. Church, restaurant, back yard… any time, any place. Sometimes you know if you’ve crossed the line regarding one of their quirks, sometimes the problem is as likely to be sunspots or the budget deficit for all you know.

No love or logic will reach them, and a time-out is comically ineffective. You can’t punish a kid with a time-out if they won’t STAY in the designated place. Then it’s just a wrestling match, and that doesn’t do much.

Popping the kid’s rump sends the message: Because of what you did, I will do the worst thing you can imagine by spanking you. I am the Daddy, the controller, the one who ultimately has the say-so here, and I will pick you up, put you across my knee and humiliate you as a consequence of your bad behavior.

The shame of having been spanked is, I’d venture to say, more of a motivator than the spanking itself.


I’m lucky THEBOY'S a very good, very conscientious kid. THEGIRL is so far a question mark. Sweet, cuddly… and when she’s pissed off she’ll grab the closest object, throw it, and glare at you as if to ask, How do you like THAT?? It's remarkable to witness.

And I know kids for whom the threat of spanking probably wouldn’t work. And they’d certainly call bullshit or maybe even laugh to get bent over a knee and receive glancing, painless pops. When I was a kid I watched Cecil, who was about six, get spanked. He was going bananas, so his father was whooping his butt.

Cecil just laughed. That would require a different approach, I imagine.


So write me if you want, shoot down my approach. Ridicule me, I don’t care.

Then let me watch the next time you’re, say, at a softball game with your two-year-old, seated behind home plate, and the kid goes nuts because it’s time to leave. Flailing, screaming at 120 decibels (too loud, in fact, to even hear your early efforts at staying calm), endangering himself since he’s on the bleachers), interrupting the game. Please do share whatever technique you have that’ll make some point with this kid, something that will stop the escalating scene that would continue into the vehicle, back to the house, into bath time and well into bedtime, as you know from experience.

I thought at first that ignoring it was the key. Take them away from the scene, put ‘em in their room or outside the business or whatever and let them blow off steam. Yeeeeeah… THEBOY could do (and has done) that for HOURS. I’m not sure he’d ever realize he’s being ignored; it’s pure rage. It becomes a waiting game, a contest of wills at that point. Should your entire evening/afternoon/whatever be wrecked because you’re determined to ride out this fit instead of launching the nukes?

I finally decided that, you know, the point does need to be made that such fit-pitching is unacceptable behavior.

How exactly DO you deliver the message that this behavior won’t be tolerated now or any time?

DEFCON 5, baby.

Monday, September 26, 2005

300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that I think the Wonder Bra is really benefiting this guy.


Snippet of conversation in the office this morning: “Joie, don’t mix up Van Halen and Van Morrison…”


Finally finished watching The Howlin’ Wolf Story.

Footage of Wolf is usually gripping stuff. Every time he opens his mouth I’m stunned to hear that voice come out. Sitting there, alone, watching one of my heroes… I don’t know how many times I pointed at the screen like some imaginary audience there with me would take notice too...

And watching him dress down a drunk Son House, who interrupted his set, was pretty tense. Wolf was an easy 6’5”, 300 pounds. I’d do whatever I could NOT to piss that guy off.


Went to work out yesterday and there were Rita evacuees at the rec center. Did I mention this already? Kinda strange to see people camped out in the gym.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How Not to Write

From Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities:

"My sense is that on this topic both Marxist and liberal theory have become etiolated in a late Ptolemaic effort to 'save the phenomena'; and that a reorientation of perspective in, as it were, a Copernican spirit is urgently required."


Ha! It's in a book Kelli has to read for a class. I've gotta read a fair amount of stuff for my classes, but yeesh, Kelli's reading about fives times as much for hers. Maybe more.


Good weekend here. Some degree of normalcy is returning to Brazoria County, hopefully. Amanda and Eddie returned home to find nothing of any real consequence awaiting them. Dad's back too. I haven't heard how Matagorda fared.


I've got this crazy idea: I'm thinking about running a marathon. I know, I know... I limp just a bit when I walk right now, sure. I banged up my knees something awful by running in mid-grade cross-trainers.

But if I can get some good shoes, get my knees healed...

See, after my latest run it occurred to me that I felt great. I mean, after three miles my energy was good. If not for the throbbing knees I could run double that for sure.

And you know, it's just kind of opening my mind to my potential. I think I could train and do this thing. Whit's in one in January. I don't know if that gives me enough time, but it's something I'll mull around.


I'm down to 168, a drop of seven or eight pounds in two months. I'm not strictly in this for weight loss; though I'm changing shape (some of my pants are comically loose now), I understand that some muscle tissue is replacing fat. I'm looking at something of a tradeoff in weight.

But I think I'd look pretty good at 160. Lean is the way for me. I'd stand a better chance of looking like Lance Armstrong than Lou Ferrigno (as I've told some of you).


Interesting things coming up: I've got October 2 Rangers tickets, good ones. Last weekend of the series, and I plan to go sans kids. Hope to take the wife, actually.

October 7 the Wallace/Grommit movie opens, and I think it'd be a hoot to take THEBOY. Same weekend there's a play on campus called Blues Man I'd like to see.

The next weekend I've got a psych mid-term, and (oh yeah) Kelli's birthday wingding.

Ya'll have a good week por favor.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Exodus Update

Can't reach Dad, but sis tells me via text message that he's okay.

She's also informed me that Eddie's drive was 20 hours from Lake Jackson to Spring. I believe that's 70-80 miles.

She also informs me that it's windy enough that an old, rotten tree had blown over, narrowly missing their parked vehicles.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Permanent Markers

From an MSNBC post:

PORT LAVACA, Texas - Mayor Alan Tharling of Port Lavaca, a city on the Texas coast between Houston and Corpus Christi, is taking creative measures to make citizens take the threat of Hurricane Rita seriously.

Tharling says that the 1,000 or so die-hards who refuse to evacuate are being given permanent markers and asked to write their Social Security number, next of kin and a phone number on their arm or across their abdomen — so that returning officials can identify their bodies.


Text message from Sis, who went to Spring, said her husband and my father have each been stuck in traffic 10 hours. It took her six.

Anxious Days...

I’m almost back in that 9/11-type news obsession, watching Rita coverage.

And last night came the coverage of JetBlue flight 292 trying to land. In case you missed it, the plane’s forward landing gear malfunctioned; the wheels were turned sideways and couldn’t be moved.

So we watched this thing circling, and with my son there I wondered how to approach this. I should have turned it off, I know. I did try to make a lesson out of it though. So much of what he sees on TV is pretend, and we try to make that clear. But he kept saying, “I think it’s going to get smashed” and things like that. I explained that there were people on that plane who were very scared. Kids, grownups, all scared.

And the touchdown was amazing, simply amazing. We were all were jubilant when they landed safely. The front landing gear caught fire as the wheels were scraped off, but the apparatus didn’t collapse, and aside from a brief fire there was nothing scary.


I hope my family and friends have homes to return to when this hurricane is said and done. Thought for a while we might get to host Whit and his family. I was kind of excited, actually. But he found a hotel room in, uh, Kerrville if I recall. Jeez, he’ll probably still get a whopper of a storm there.

Dad rents a house on the river in Matagorda, and that place is likely to get hammered. On the plus side, it’s 14-15 feet up. But… 160mph winds can be too much for most any dwelling to withstand.

And his own house in Angleton, while solid enough to have gotten us through Alicia in ’83, doesn’t have boards on the windows. I gather that after doing everything they could to get the Matagorda house ready (and to stow his boat somewhere), they simply had no time to concentrate on the Angleton house.

My sister was very frank about how she looked at her house before leaving and wondered if it’d be the last time she saw it.


The projections (like this one) pretty much show the storm going straight over Brazoria County at this point.


It’s hard to even roll out the usual rundown of how I’m doing at this point. The summary:

Homework—not nearly as bad as I expected.

Running—stamina was good, but knees are badly sore.


Words escape me. I hope you and everyone important to you remain safe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Update from The Facts

Angleton mayor orders mandatory evacuation

Angleton Mayor Matt Sebesta has ordered a mandatory evacuation for the city at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“People need to be out of town no later than noon Thursday,” Sebesta said.
Angleton Police Lt. Mike Jones, the city’s emergency management coordinator, said people do not need to wait until the evacuation goes into effect. County officials said trailers will not be restricted on evacuation routes.

Hurricane Rita is currently a Category 4 storm and is expected to make landfall between midnight and 3 a.m. Saturday. Further strengthening is possible.


I received an update yesterday from the Facts indicating that Judge John Willy had ordered an evacuation of most of the county. I did wonder if a judge really had the authority to do that (anyone know?), and have since received conflicting info as to whether that declaration was mandatory or voluntary.

Lots of folks inquiring about my family, and I thank you all.


I’m sorry, but this is disturbing. That thing doesn’t even look real. Is this a hoax?


Autumn begins tomorrow. Yet the only place I expect to wear a jacket is in this cube.


Current music: “One Irish Rover” by Van Morrison. Why doesn't classic rock radio ever play "The Rover" by Led Zeppelin? It's a tight little rocker.


Rovers… Sis is fleeing to north of Houston, Dad and Charlene are New Mexico-bound, Toland and his mother are too, and the Bruiser Cruiser is coming to Mesquite.

And Whit’s boarding up his windows. The city of Katy is inland a ways, but better safe than sorry, right?


Okay, Kellipalooza 40 is coming together nicely. Thanks to those of you who have RSVP’d. I’m thinking that the presence of the one and only Heather Longyear is likely to ease my own anxiety about playing host. Let those folks who are more comfortable with the spotlight handle that kinda stuff, right?


Working on a piece, a longer thing that I just can’t quite pull together. I might just give up and post it here at some point soon. Don’t grade too harshly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


A mandatory evacuation of Brazoria County has been ordered due to the impending arrival of hurricane Rita.

My sister and her kids are likely to end up north of Houston at a relative's house. Eddie, though, is scheduled to work starting long about the time landfall is expected (Friday). His place of employment is about two miles from the water if I recall.

Currently this is a category 4 storm.

If there's a serious power outage or worse, Amanda and the kids would likely come up to our place in Hurst.


“Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers” by Jeff Beck is playing, and well, it’s appropriate.


And no, I’m not talking about my marriage, thank God.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Clouds

Something to be thankful for:

While listening to “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye, well, it occurred to me that I’m thankful that he sang, “I can’t wait for you to operate” instead of something like “I don’t want to have to masturbate.”

Hey, coulda happened.


Had lunch on the Texas Wesleyan campus. Funky, outdated cafeteria with sparse attendance and even sparser employees.

On the one hand, it’s hard to get excited about the plain pork chop, two-green salad, corn/lima bean combo, unknown cooked “greens” and banana that found their way onto my plate.

On the other, the pork chop was surprisingly tasty and moist, the salad was fresh with a nice vinegary dressing, I LIKE corn and lima beans (I know, I’m a freak), and heck, those greens (turnip, I think) weren’t bitter in the slightest. I don’t think I’ll ever take a guest there, but for an occasional convenience meal I can live with it.


Oh, and they tried to charge me the “teacher” rate. I should have let them. The grey hair might have finally paid off!


Knees are loosening up a bit, not as sore.


Well, I’m getting hit by blog spam pretty regularly. Not sure how they’ve set it up, but right after I post something shows up in the comments almost immediately. I hope I don’t get to the point where I have to limit comments to registered users.


A comment from THEBOY, as he checked out some clouds his mother pointed out to him:

“I wish I could be a cloud. Or a bug. That way I could fly.”

BB is...

From playing that game where you type “(your name) is” into Google and pick your fave 10 hits. Only I couldn’t get 10. I did get these though:

Brian Briscoe is offline.
Brian Briscoe is the Chief Executive.
Brian Briscoe is not a member of any public groups.
Brian Briscoe is an illustration of one of the characters from my short story.
Brian Briscoe is on a distinguished road.
Brian Briscoe is investigating.
Brian Briscoe is coming in.
A letter from Sir Brian Briscoe is appended To the Agenda marked "A.”

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bloggity Bloggity

Again, I should be asleep

I was determined to work out tonight, though. The gym's not open late on Sundays, and after the grocery run I was chomping at the bit to run. Last night went well enough that I wanted to see if it was a fluke. Plus I got a new pedometer, and I wanted to see how close my guess on the distance from last night (three miles) was.

It was very close. I was about twenty strides short of three miles when I finished.

I know I'm opening the door, so to speak. I mean, it's like genuine athletes are all in this exclusive club. I'm not a member, but now when I knock the guy on the other side lets me peek through the crack to get an idea of what it's like inside.

Hmm... that was weak.

Anyway, at this point all that's really holding me up running-wise is PAIN. Ah yes, pain. Both knees... walking around all day I had very little discomfort, but once I started running--hoo boy. I guess it's nice to be thinking about something other than whether I've got the stamina to finish. I do. But I'd rather not be wondering exactly what I'm doing to my knees. We'll see how they react in the next day or two. I can't run tomorrow night. I simply cannot. Elliptical training, hopefully. More pavement pounding, no.


Random thoughts from jogging:

Hey! I'm nearly more than halfway done!

Those people need to use perfume-free laundry detergent (repeated four times past various houses).

THOSE people need to change the damn litterbox.

And who the HELL around here is smoking?


A good day here, really. We got our weekend kinda out of whack. Between my baseball game Friday night, my class yesterday morning and Kelli's trip to the Dragon Tales show with the boys yesterday, she didn't get to study like she normally would.

So today I took the kids, for the most part. When THEGIRL napped this afternoon THEBOY and I ran some errands. When she woke up we returned and Kelli took off to Starbucks to study for hours.


The woman we were supposed to meet and interview at lunch about possibly babysitting our kids stood us up. Next candidate, please.


Throb, throb. Hoo boy.


So Pudge is tired of losing in Detroit, eh? He was DESPERATE for the big payday (sorry... I meant "respect," which is what he called it) when he was a free agent. He had his world championship ring from his brief tour with the Marlins and instructed his agent, I gather, to make him very, very wealthy.

So the Tigers ponied up.

The Tigers suck.

Pudge is whining in the media now, virtually running his own TRADE MY ASS campaign.

In this new era of steroid testing, let's not overlook the fact that Pudge's numbers are way down, and in fact, he's playing 30 pounds or so lighter than last season.

Karma, Pudge.


Pedro Astacio has displaced Chan Ho Park from the San Diego rotation. Now THAT shit is funny.


I believe I had the worst sneezing fit of my life tonight while THEBOY showered. He was doing his thing while I lay on the bed, my whole face just oozing misery. I was begging God, Krishna, and every voodoo priest and aborigine with a magic bone to have mercy. And then it passed.


Have a good week, ya'll.

Boogity Boogity

Late here, but thought I'd see if anything comes out.


Solid weekend thus far. Baseball with Henley last night, school this morning. That development class is cool. The counseling theories class I wanted but just couldn't fit into my schedule is hacking off everyone I know who's taking it. I may have dodged a bullet there.


Henley's got good ideas for doing something with Juke. Target: Christmas.


Today THEBOY and Sterling went to see the Dragon Tales live show I snagged tickets for. Kelli says it went really well.


I jogged tonight--best yet! I'm told "the baby got ahold" of the pedometer, dang it, but I'd guess I went about three miles. It was the first time I wasn't completely focused on every step and miserable because of it. My mind could wander a bit. My mechanics aren't there yet, but a short, compact stride seems to feel somewhat natural.

My knees did hurt from step one, so I'm curious to see how I'll feel in the morning.


Got CD from Toland. Alabama Thuderpussy: Pretty good. Atomic Bitchwax: Rockin'! New King's X: Has potential.


Tired. Good night, sweet night.

Friday, September 16, 2005

That Other BB...

Happy BB King’s Birthday. The King of the Blues turns 80 today.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Listen up!

That's a pair of Red Kross/Roger Manning songs. Cool!

Wherever Johnny Cash is Right Now, I Hope He's Teaching Kurt Cobain How to Play "Hurt"

A slightly edited version of an email exchange with Toland



I recently finished reading a book on the New York Dolls, as well as watching a documentary on Johnny Thunders called Born to Lose: The Last Rock 'N' Roll
. I've always thought of Thunders as a professional junkie who happened to also play music, occasionally coming up with moments of inspiration. However, as is often the case with these things, the situation was a bit more complicated than that.

According to both the Dolls book and the movie, Thunders genuinely loved rock & roll - when he was younger, at any rate - which is why he picked up a guitar in the first place. He drank a lot of beer and whiskey and did the usual speed in the early days of the Dolls, but he didn't start seriously doing smack until the Dolls were already on their first tour after the first album came out. Even then it didn't really become his life until after the Dolls were over. (No coincidence, I suspect, though that's not made explicit.)

So he stumbled through the rest of his life and career playing sloppy, stoned shows that often consisted of him hitting the stage, berating the audience for a few
minutes, then either leaving or passing out. He pimped his talent so he could get high. (A familiar story, I'm sure.) And a lot of fans loved him for this. He became a romantic figure not because he was a gifted rock & roll musician struggling with junk, but because he was a junkie who struggled to get money for smack by just also happening to be a gifted rock & roll musician.

I do NOT get this attitude. I never have. I don't understand the veneration of Sid Vicious, who didn't even have the excuse of being talented to warrant his idol worship. I understand the, for lack of a better word, attraction to a potentially brilliant artist who is genuinely trying to stop using but usually loses
out to the addiction. (See: Elliott Smith, Layne Staley.) At least he or she is attempting to get well. But loving folks like Thunders, who never really tried
to kick, because of his habit, rather than in spite of it, is something I just. Do. Not. Understand.

There's a scene in the documentary in a junkie apartment. Two guys, who may be black or may be Latino (it's hard to tell because of the crappy film stock, but they're definitely not white), are cooking up a batch. One of them ties off, fills up a syringe and shoots up. Just as I was wondering why we're watching this, both men look away in the same direction. The camera turns toward the door. One of the men gets up to open it, and it's Thunders. He walks in, exchanges pleasantries (the film is silent) and waits patiently for the guy who didn't jack up to give him some drugs.
Thunders gives him some bills, tastes the drug and gets ready to use. Thankfully, we don't get to see that. Which is doubly fortunate, because the guy who answered the door STILL HAD THE NEEDLE HANGING OFF HIS VEIN AS HE OPENED THE DOOR. Jesus. I could've gone my whole life without seeing that.

The film is very careful to not overtly pass judgment on Thunders for his behavior, though I would argue that the scene I just described says more than any speech ever could.

I've been listening to some of my Thunders records in light of this viewing experience. The So Alone album has some damn good songs on it. The Que Sera Sera album - essentially his last studio record - is also quite good, with Thunders sounding more lucid than he had since the days of the Dolls. Both records have some sexist raunch, but both also have tunes that show a genuine sensitivity and others that boast a wicked sense of humor. And the Dolls records are both classic
rock & roll albums, worth every bit of praise heaped upon them over the years. (Too bad Thunders was never a good singer.)

Yet I hesitate to endorse anything he did, because he was such a wasted, unrepentant bastard. It's not like buying his records will go to feed his junk habit, since he's been dead for 14 years, but still. (A quick side note: according to the Dolls book, Thunders died of undiagnosed leukemia, rather than an overdose. This is the only source I've ever come across that's claimed that.)

I've never been one to judge an artist of any type by his or her personal behavior. I don't tolerate domestic violence, but that doesn't mean I don't think James Brown is a genius. I just wouldn't be able to hang with the guy. So I'm going to continue to enjoy Thunders' music. But I think I'm going to avoid further biographical information, unless I'm feeling particularly masochistic.

By the way, Nina Antonia, the author of the Dolls book, is very loving and forgiving toward Thunders, the junkie who never lived up to his potential because he'd rather get high than write a song, and fairly harsh toward David Johansen, who kicked his addictions early on and went on to a long and solid career of making the kind of music he wanted to make the way he wanted to make it. Seems a bit bass-ackwards.

Musical trivia: on Thunders' solo album So Alone,there's a cover of Otis Blackwell's "Daddy Rollin'Stone." Most of the music on the song was performed by
Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols. Thunders trades verses with Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy and Steve Marriott from the Small Faces. It's several
generations of guitar-based rock on one song. That's the respect Thunders commanded for his musical vision. Though it's possible the fact that everyone I just mentioned had substance abuse problems (except Cook, I think) might have contributed as well.

Anyway, the point of this diatribe is this. You've studied addictive personalities, etc. for a while now. I know you're hardly an expert, but do you have any idea what the attraction is to junkies from non-junkies? Why do folks romanticize these people? I can understand romanticizing people like Steve Earle or Wayne Kramer, who hit bottom, realized the problem and changed their lives, going on to be stronger and
more productive than ever. But the ones that never even try to change...maybe you can't write off the work, but why worship the personality?

Of course, all this also makes me think of the late Elliott Smith, but that's another story.



Dude... dude! (My new/old word)

You like to poke a hornet's nest, don't ya? I mean... I'll bet there are people among my friends and family who by now have a policy of avoiding the substance
abuse topic with me. And I wouldn't blame them! Shiiiit. Not at all.

You and Henley, I swear...

Okay okay... glad to apply what I've learned, speculated about, etc. during these earliest stages of my education:

What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?


Okay, serious, Brisc, serious...

But... I don't know. Addicts we've certainly covered in my classes, but not the people who idolize the famous ones. I could speculate, which I think I can back up with some okay logic. But the bottom line is that I don't KNOW, and in fact, I've wondered too. Why are so many of my heroes junkies/drunks? Buk, Staley, Larry Brown (though I had no idea he was that bad until he passed), Billie Holiday.

Staley, by the way, is a guy I'd argue never intended to get clean. I'm at utter burnout on my beloved AIC stuff, but Launch is dragging out songs from the box
set to string me along. And really, the guy was in love with death from way back. Necrophilous personality, as they'd say in one of my highfalutin texts.

And as Kelli and I talked about this tonight, she picked up the book she's reading for a class, The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Fourth and fifth century stuff, and he's going on about how people love to watch tragedies (on stage, that is), and that if they're not moved to tears they're pissed off about it.

He's right.

We do love tragedy. We love a wreck, love to know that this artistic genius is actually pouring it all out, putting it all on the line because of the very junk in his/her veins. This is sacrifice of the highest order in the name of art, right?

I'm guilty of it, so guilty. Would I love Billie Holiday as much if she'd been a teetotaler? I'd like to think I would. I mean, she WAS tremendously talented. And hell, the album on which her habit affected her the most, Lady in Satin, is painful to listen to. Her gifts had been eaten away, and no amount of romantic sympathy on my part can get me past the fact that she could no longer hit the notes.

On a similar note, I can't stand to hear Stevie Ray Vaughan's CD Live Alive, because I know he was coming apart at the seams from drugs when he was recording and mixing/posting it.

So I guess there's a balance at work. Get junked out or drunk, punch your own ticket slowly but surely, but hell, we'll be glad to hear how beautifully you sing about it.

In the case of Johnny Thunders, though... well, the guy apparently became a freakshow live. Folks really showed up, paid their money to get berated by a guy
out of his mind or strung out?

There's another angle that resonates a bit with me, but I'm not sure it holds much water. We're taught in my classes from the get-go that addicts lie, period. To themselves, to everyone. It's no secret, of course.

And in the case of Johnny Thunders, I imagine there's some appeal in seeing someone so unrepentant, someone so utterly willing to be an honest junkie. The fans weren't there to pull for him or to quote Narc-Anon tenets at meet & greets. They were there for the macabre thrill of witnessing the downard spiral. Hell, you remember that Replacements song "Johnny's Gonna Die." It was no secret what was happening. There was no subterfuge.

Maybe all of this is just an overlong way of saying it's the same thing that makes us watch car wrecks.

Really, I'd like some answers on this too.



Thunders was as much a liar as any other junkie, for the most part. You should check out the message board on the Thunders unofficially official website sometime. There's lots of "we love you Johnny!" posts, but every once in a while, someone who actually knew him back in the day will post about being ripped off, lied to and generally fucked over by Johnny in his quest to get money for drugs. Hell, in the doc, Wayne Kramer (who had a notorious train wreck of a band with Thunders called Gang War about 1980) tells a story about the band playing an unusually high-paying gig in the Midwest, and what does Johnny do? He steals the money from the promoter. Before the show, no less. And hides the money on Wayne's girlfriend. Thanks, dude!
They managed to escape with their lives and without getting arrested, but it totally fucked up what could have been a good gig. Wayne had the grace not to be bitter about it.


"Daddy Rollin'Stone" sounds great.

Once I thought I saw you...

In a crowded, hazy bar...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Helmet's Chris Traynor gets dissed by a mall CD store chick. Ouch.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Spread

It was Christmas of 1976, and he’d been amazed at the spread of gifts under the tree, and at how his parents had found stuff he’d never seen or heard of, cool stuff. He’d been obsessively flipping through the thin pages of the Sears Wish Book for a month, but still he was surprised, overwhelmed at how well they’d done.

He hardly knew where to start, but he waded in, putting batteries in toys, listening to new noises and watching the flashing lights.

They’d worked together to do this, he imagined. They’d worked as one in the interest of overwhelming him with gifts, even when they couldn’t work together as a couple. They didn’t know he knew. He’d crept around corners, stepping as close to the walls as possible where the creaky floorboards might give less. What they were talking about he didn’t understand, but he knew it was serious. He knew that sometimes he’d be rounded up to go with Mom to a hotel out of the blue. Nothing ugly, nothing he could put a finger on. But as much as he loved to go to hotels, he knew something was wrong, something wasn’t being said.

And the spread of gifts felt like compensation to him, even at that age.

Mini-trampoline, robotic tank, games, puzzles, books, and a cool new superhero figure he’d seen on TV. His hands were interchangeable, could be swapped out for cool tools. Drills, hooks, clubs… yeah, this guy was great!

He started trying the different accessories, and the possibilities were thrilling! This was the highlight of the day, this brand new, utterly cool toy no other kid he knew had.

And it snapped.

One of the attachments broke off, leaving part stuck in the arm.

Dad tried to fix it, but there just wasn’t any getting the piece out or fixing the attachment. Five minutes of playing with the toy and it was rendered useless, thrown away.


Twenty-nine years later the metaphor caught up with him and overwhelmed him, and he wanted to cry just like he did that day, maybe more.

Movin', Groovin'...

I can assure you, if you have any doubts, that nothing I do actually resembles groovin’ in any way. In my mind, sure. In my mind I can sing and dance and I’m eight feet tall and have six-pack abs.


Singing… sigh. I so wish I could sing. You should hear my falsetto warble as DeVotchKa’s “We’re Leaving” plays in the van.

On second thought, you shouldn’t.


Another BACS staffer departs today. Melissa took a better job at a competitor walking distance from the Belo campus. Citing the no-compete clause, she’s being shown the door. Wonder if they’ll wait until 10 minutes ‘til quitting time to offer her an exit interview like they did with me?


School trucks along… busy! I’ve always got papers to write, research to do, classes to attend… it’s all so damn inconvenient! Gasp!


Planning Kelli’s birthday shindig… thanks to those of you who offered your input. It was surprisingly consistent, so I took your advice.


Why am I never, ever called for jury duty? I mean… I never even get summoned for the selection wingding. I’m a registered voter. In Austin I was called fairly often (though never selected; maybe my wooden leg and prosthetic hands that’ll hold tools a la JJ Arms threw them off…)



Monday, September 12, 2005

I Against I

In the Hurst Wal Mart last night someone complimented me on my Bad Brains I Against I t-shirt. My hat’s off to the guy for knowing the Brains, and I told him so.


Comic scene from dinner at Jason’s Deli: Kelli catches me whistling “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

Damn muzak system!


You wanna see a guy doing a crazy workout? Scroll down to see the video.


What a pain… Whit, Toland and I are all having back trouble at the same time.


Still haven’t watched my new Howlin’ Wolf DVD. Watched the DVD of You See Me Laughin’, though, and it was quite good. RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough are just mesmerizing to watch. I might give T-Model Ford another look; I still think he rips off too many guys, but he sings like Lazy Lester, whom I like. And Asie Payton has real potential too.


C’mon 5:30…

Friday, September 09, 2005

Air, Blood and Love

Yes yes, this is where the compulsion takes me tonight...

I'm watching The Jazz Channel Presents BB King, and you know, the man is like a family member to me.

He'll launch into the first few notes of "Let the Good Times Roll" or "Caldonia," and I look at Kelli with a big smile on my face. She's nose-first in books, where I was until 20 minutes ago, so she doesn't notice.

This music makes me happy! Just a few notes or words and it's '86 at the Arena Theater again, and Tully and I are mesmerized by the Man Himself, holding court among 5000 who are in the know.

Or it's '93 and I'm watching him record his second Austin City Limits appearance. Not one other damn person seems to recognize his songs in the first few notes like me (where are the other fans??), but I don't care.

Or it's 1975 and I'm listening to a 45 of "The Thrill is Gone" with "So Excited" on the b-side. I've never seen the man, but I picture him as white for some reason.

Maybe it's '88 and I'm in some beach eatery with a small stage. They've called a gal from the kitchen staff out to join the surf band for some blues songs. She plays guitar upside down and left-handed like Albert King. A band girlfriend tells me I'm welcome to join them onstage, and I go into an extended, Walter Mitty-like fantasy in which I take the stage and play the solo from "The Thrill is Gone" note for note.

I don't.


I could have, though.


This is air to me, it's blood and love. I'll wake up some morning, maybe even some morning soon, and he'll be gone. I might have to take the day off from work, call in sick or something. But heck, the man's been putting out records since the '40s; I reckon he's done enough. A lot of them sit on my shelf in there, and a lot of them are great.


You know, he got such a modest start... He was driving a tractor on a plantation, and he screwed up. Drove it into something, realized he had a big, expensive problem, and just walked off. That was his cue, folks. He left the farm and from that instant on was a professional musician.

The plantation owner was interviewed many years later and said the tractor issue would have been no big deal. He didn't seem to hold a grudge.


What is this man still doing on the road? Surely he doesn't need the money. Does touring institutionalize a man like prison? Do you get so used to sleeping on a bus that a hotel room or quiet house won't do? Can someone really love it this much?


This isn't just some other guy who put out some records. When Buddy Holly died, he'd been touring for almost a decade. When the Beatles broke up he'd been doing it for a couple (of decades, that is). When he had a big hit with U2 he was pushing 40 years as a professional, touring musician. ""When Love Comes to Town" came out nearly 20 years ago, by the way...


So, if you know a guy who has some BB King Records (and guess what--you do), ask to hear "The Thrill is Gone" or "Why I Sing the Blues" or "Five Long Years" or "Three O'Clock Blues" or "Chains and Things" or "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss."

Thank you for allowing me to indulge myself.

Everyone Says It’s On

In Heaven I’ll be able to sing, right?


My wife is joining me for lunch today! She might be underwhelmed at the local choices though. Asia Buffet is the best, and she’s probably not going to be into that.


Oh happy day—I got my new Japanese Jason Falkner CD, Everyone Says It’s On.

I’m enjoying the hell out of it.


Awful: I dreamed that someone faked THEBOY'S death, made us think he was gone. We wailed, I was ready to off myself... and some psychologist walked in, a tall Indian dude, and wanted to talk about what had just happened. I found my son to be alive and was overjoyed, of course. But I punched the Indian in the mouth, broke his arm, kicked him out of the house and called the cops.


I also dreamed I was mayor of Austin, and that my old friend Steve ran into me at the inauguration and explained that he now acts in porn movies.


My first grade as a grad student: a 79 on a paper. Ouch. I knew I kinda half-assed it. I’ll do better. The prof is doing his level best with the material, which is pretty stats-intensive. In the hands of lots of other profs the class would be utter torture.

He’s a tough grader too, which didn’t pair well with the aforementioned half-assed approach. But maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to finally get motivated. Between the holiday last weekend and a prof’s illness, I still feel like I’ve hardly begun school at all.


Happy Friday. I give you permission to goof off.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

That Survey Again

Because I’m fried, having busted my butt at work all afternoon…

1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A SECOND HOUSE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE? Well, like most everyone else in the world, I’m now afraid of being anywhere near the water. SO… I have no idea. Is there room in Salma Hayek’s back yard?

2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING? This Nike mesh polo I got for cheap somewhere. Wish I could find another for that price.

3. THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT? The Complete Bukka White. It’s great!


5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN APPLIANCE? Um… what the heck? Does a plate covered with nachos count as an appliance?


7. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR OR SUV? These choices suck. I want a hovercraft.


9. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK? Where the Wild Things Are

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON? Spring, baby! Give me baseball!

11. WHAT'S IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR? This is interesting? How about what’s in that leprechaun-sized trunk in my son’s room, hmm? Yep—pennies! Why is it our grandmothers always give us these oddball little money containers that have a bunch of wheat pennies or whatever in them? Not knocking it, always appreciate being thought of and all… but seriously, does everyone else get this stuff?

12. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER? Sushi is okay, but hell, give me enchiladas verdes.



15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER? Does Daisy Fuentes count?

16. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Chocolate mint chip.

17. BUTTER, PLAIN, OR SALTED POPCORN? Popcorn sucks. Sorry. It makes the whole building smell like dirty socks, yet tastes like nothing.


19. WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE? ’99 Nissan Quest.

20. FAVORITE SANDWICH? Oyster po boy with some thick steak fries on the side. It’s the pinch of Cajun in me.


22. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Baseball and, uh, baseball. Oh, I like martial arts too. I kinda dig UFC stuff.

23. MIDDLE NAME? Douglas

24. FAVORITE TV SHOW? Er… uh… jeez…I’m sticking with Mystery Science Theater 3000.

full-steam elliptical fury

I put the iPod on THEBOY again last night, this time WITHOUT any curseword-filled metal songs. “Jackie Wilson Said” by Van Morrison came on, and you should have seen him grooving! He loved it.


My birthday stuff continues to trickle in … yesterday I received The Complete Bukka White CD, and it’s every bit as good as I’d hoped. Compelling country blues, really good stuff.

Also got the DVD of The Jazz Channel Presents BB King, as well as The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Howlin’ Wolf. Haven’t watched either of them yet though. Dying to see the latter, but I’ve got a paper due Saturday that I’ve barely begun.


There’s a Jazz Channel?


Working out is going well. I’ve had some sort of breakthrough, and now I don’t finish feeling just wiped out. Heck, during my final “intense” interval last night I wrapped up with 10 seconds of full-steam elliptical fury. I feel better, I’ve lost a little gut, and heck, it’s only a 20 minute workout. Cool.


Will be busy today. Ya’ll have a good one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Line Between Mortification and Hilarity

Hoo boy.

Couple weeks ago THEBOY wanted to listen to an iPod. Kelli's was right there, but the battery was dead.

So tonight as I prepared to go work out I let him listen to mine for a bit. I punched up "Crisis King" by Helmet, and it was funny to watch him rock out. Loved hearing him say, "This is rock 'n' roll!" and respond to one of Kelli's questions with a loud, "WHAT??"

Unfortunately, the next song (the iPod selects them at random) started before I knew it. Soon THEBOY asked, "What's a focka?"

Hoo boy, again.

Kelli gave me the evil eye, and I took the iPod off of him. He said, "The guy said 'mocka focka'."


"Why, look at the clock--it's bedtime!"

The crisis was shortlived though. By the time we got his PJs on, as I tried to straddle that line between mortification and hilarity, I explained that he shouldn't say that. He said, "I'm not supposed to say 'rocka docka'?"


Case closed.


Got some more goodies in the mail today.

First, a Jellyfish bootleg DVD courtesy of one of the Jellylist guys. It's got four acoustic shows, one of which I actually attended in 1993. I don't seem to be visible in the shot (I stood on the staircase behind the band), but I'm tickled to have the footage anyway.

Then there's Charles Brown's A Life in the Blues, which has a live DVD and concert CD (of the same performance I think). I watched the DVD, and it's just... splendid. No other word for it. Longtime guitarist Danny Caron is featured as much as Brown, and the whole band is having a ball. It's a 1990 show, about an hour long. I'm gonna enjoy that one a lot.

Finally is a VHS of a rare Soundgarden live performance entitled LOUDER THAN LIVE. It's something that usually goes for $50 and up if you can find it. I found a copy on Amazon Marketplace for $15, but the description made it sound kinda beat up. And the case is indeed in bad shape, but it plays perfectly. I hope to transfer it to DVD quite soon, if there's no copy protection on here (it's from 1990 too).

The performance is quite good, but short, at about a half hour total. And the footage--ugh. Annoying MTV-style blurry, herky-jerky nonsense in black and white. I'd say Soundgarden were an exciting enough live band that they didn't need to be propped up with such gimmickry.

Got a pair of videos tacked onto the end too: "Hands All Over" and "Loud Love." Of all the music videos I've ever seen, well, those are two of them.


Almost bedtime for me, rocka dockas. Sleep tight.


Busy today. Busy busy busy. But that’s fine.


The driver’s side window in the van went down Saturday night and refused to come back up. Crap. Should be covered under our extended warranty, though with the $200 deductible, well, looks like I’ll just be footing the bill for this repair after all.

And you know, they called and said it’s just a shorted-out switch. I looked at that switch for a while, going so far as to grab a screwdriver and think about opening it up. But one’s gotta watch what one does in order to avoid screwing up the warranty, right?


Rented a couple movies over the weekend. Napoleon Dynamite was… well, unique, and funny and DUMB. Is that a recommendation? I don’t know. I laughed out loud a number of times, and I’m always glad to see a movie that’s creative and not afraid to do its own thing.

But… exactly WHAT this movie’s “own thing” was… well, that befuddles me a bit.


Supersize Me was everything I expected: Amusing, informative, frightening… And Toland’s right: The stuff about the school lunches was possibly the most eye-opening.


Ah… a coworker from downstairs just came to verify something I’d scheduled… and he’s got himself a potential problem. Reeks of alcohol, right through his pores. It’s a hardcore, sickly sweet smell you don’t get from just any drinker.


Busy I say! Books! Van! Kids!

But it beats doing nothing…

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Sunday morning here, a fine, lazy time. Kevin's watching some movies, the grownups got to read the paper, and Laura's down for her late-morning nap. Aaaaaah.


Erik and Vicky stopped by the inlaws' place in Corsicana for a stretch yesterday. They're on a whirlwind Texas trip, which was scheduled to include some soccer in Frisco and then baseball in Houston. That's a lot of driving, but they've got the time, the inclination, and the freedom to do it. Was nice to see them, do some catching up.

Both have family in New Orleans (it's where Erik grew up, in fact). Though they're reasonably certain they're safe, they're still waiting to hear from them.


THEBOY watches movies in Corsicana, just camped out in his grandfather's bedroom. It's an indulgence we allow.


But yesterday we unveiled his new bicycle, and he had fun riding it, did pretty well. The big SECRET didn't last long though. I'd stashed the bike in the back of the van and covered it with a blanket. I hoped it wouldn't draw any attention; we're always hauling stuff back and forth to and from Corsicana. But even before we had Laura buckled in for the trip, he blurted out, "HEY--why are we taking a bicycle to Grandnell's house?"

Doh! It was a good laugh at least.


On the way down THEBOY reminded Kelli of the time not long ago when she ran over a dead skunk. The car smelled awful, of course. THEBOY wrapped up his comments by saying, "I loved it!"


A fire broke out a Toland's apartment complex. SCARY indeed, but it was a storage facility or somesuch from what I gather. There was certainly the potential for it to spread, but the firemen showed up and got it under control in good time.


Today, with any luck, I'll hook up with Llorca and/or Hood someplace for... lunch? Coffee? An afternoon of watching Texas play the Royals?


I was thinking not long about people who have birthdays on 9/11, like my supervisor. Awful indeed to have to share your day with the anniversary of a tragedy.

Now I'm one, as Katrina blew into New Orleans on the morning of August 29, my 37th birthday. I know this is a tremendous tragedy, but I don't know that it'll be so closely associated with the date like the New York tragedy was.

I'll certainly remember the connection though.


My CDs are trickling in, the ones I ordered with my birthday loot. Other goodies too, like the book Darby O'Gill and the Good People. Seems to be a charming little collection of short stories, written in a Gaelic-inflected English dialect. Can be a bit of a challenge to read.

Also got Particle's Launchpad CD. It's funky, it's tight, it's instrumental, and it's good driving music. Unless, of course, Kelli is along, as it drives her nuts for some reason. In some ways we're as different as night and day. Hell, she sat through the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" on the radio yesterday. If there had been a cliff around I'd have driven right off of it.


Also got Ruckus by Galactic, though I haven't had a great chance to listen to it yet. And I finally replaced my lent out/MIA copy of the New Orleans funk compilation Ain't No Funk Like N.O. Funk. It features the great "Wolf's Remedy" by All That. Heck, it's how I first heard of Galactic, in fact.


Ah... the weekend's not even half over yet. Have a good one.

Friday, September 02, 2005


“We don’t have water, we don’t have electricity, food is scarce, but it’s not bad, not bad.”

Quote from a healthcare worker interviewed on WWL this afternoon.

Not. Funny.

It’s Friday.

Been a bitch of a week, eh?


Heard a reporter on KVIL. She was interviewing a New Orleans survivor, a guy talking about 12 feet of water in his building, and how he and 11 other adults and nine kids were trapped for a while. A truck driving school was nearby, and somehow he managed to hot-wire a truck and get them out.

And the reporter started laughing.

She laughed in his face. She said something about how strange that sounds to those of us just sitting on our couches, watching it on TV.

I changed it, couldn’t bear to listen to anymore of this woman’s dipshit cruelty, harmful naivete.


I went to email them a complaint, and as it turns out, they’re a Viacom property. The email that popped up didn’t have an email address in it, just a name; this person is in our email system. Whoa… not going to push my luck.


Quick update: The program director at KVIL is Smokey Rivers ( in case you'd like to express an opinion about what transpired on his radio station this morning.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

RIP R.L. Burnside

Robert Burnside has died.

Now he's in Heaven, sitting down.

A Little Good News

Text message from my sister:

"Babbi ok house ok only no power."


Good to finally get word.


Listening to KBON today, and all the songs seem sadder, even the uptempo ones. The local news reports are mostly about shelters working beyond capacity.

A Quick One (But Not While He's Away)

Current music: “Deadly Sinners” by 3 Inches of Blood


If’n you wanna hear new Jason Falkner music, go to his MySpace site. The player there’s been jiggered with a lot lately, but it’s currently running new tune “Princessa,” which is reportedly from his upcoming release.

Upcoming WHEN no one seems to know.


Busy busy busy here…