Monday, October 31, 2005

Pix from the Halloween Party

And the Phone Starts Ringing...

Seems the word is getting out about the BACS person we've lured over to my station... Wow. My little phone got very busy for a while.

When she gave notice, the Big Boss told her she's "far and away" the best he has.

Not anymore, dude!

Monday Monday

Jason Falkner’s fine EP Bliss Descending is now available as Weed files.

Even if you already have it, heck, you get three free listens… why not venture over and roll them while you work today?


I ran five miles yesterday morning. Went pretty well. I’m sore today, but now of a mind to start stretching out the distance. The fact that I had enough juice left to go into a good sprint for the last 50-odd yards was encouraging.


Showing up at the Halloween party as Torgo worked out well, as the hosts are MST fans. Craig started whistling the enchanting “Torgo Theme” as I walked in.


XTC has released a big honkin’ box of Apple Venus demos and such.


Both kids are healthy and in school today—hurrah! Nice to have THEGIRL back to her normal self, even if she IS approaching the terrible twos with all due haste. Oh my GOD can that kid give off attitude! I mean… throwing things, glaring, HITTING… she got upset about something yesterday, and walked to the dining room table to grab Kelli’s purse and try to sling it to the floor. This was an angry toddler on a mission, folks.


Today is Halloween, of course, which THEBOY'S been looking forward to all month. He’s been counting the days. It’s grey and overcast, so I hope we don’t get our first rain since FOREVER tonight.


Cool! I’ve just learned that someone from BACS I lobbied to get hired here did indeed get the job! Not only do I get to see an old friend here, but BACS takes the personnel hit (again), and heck, she’s really good at what she does. Awesome!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Scattered Moments

From this weekend, from whenever.

(also known as "Fun with Gerunds!")


My beautiful daughter, having somehow wandered a good 10 feet from our table in Luby's tonight, angrily throwing a spoon.


Looking at the ghost/bat/demon thing THEBOY wanted at the Halloween store, and knowing that if we bought that I'd actually dread fetching it from the attic each October, as it captured perfectly some unique, genuinely terrifying look. I was going to see THAT damn thing in my nightmares. He changed his mind and got skull sunglasses.


My daughter sleeping better after getting on a medicine routine. Bronchitis, the doc said. The poor kid.


Someone with a full bottle of mezcal at a party, offering shots around, looking at me and saying, "Oh--sorry dude."


THEBOY hugging the office lady at his new school as we left Friday. Unprompted no less. He's already acting like he's the mayor around there.


My wife, sitting on the bed tonight in a night gown no one else in the world will ever see, and looking pretty.


A man with a guitar, standing by the air compressor at the gas station in Hurst last night, just singing away. Couldn't hear him though.


Banda on 94.1 last night... it might be the music of madness, but it's happy madness.


Whit text messaging me tonight after a student of his won his first kick-boxing matching. I'm proud for them both.


Watching olives float in beer tonight, and remembering how I learned that trick some 25 years ago.

(They sink, then float, then sink, then float, over and over)


Picking someone at random in class today when the prof said to pair up with someone we don't know well for an exercise. And I picked well.


Getting through Friday at work. My roughest day there. And I wasn't the only one.


Hearing the Dukes of Stratosphear cover "I Am the Walrus." Cool.


Going to bed.

Friday, October 28, 2005

To the Baseball Gods

God is great
God is good
And he blessed the Rangers
With thunderous wood

And a hitter’s park
With a short right porch
The opposing pitchers’
Best stuff they do torch

But do they have arms?
Not many, as you know
Except Frank Francisco
Whose aim wasn’t so Bueno

Now John Hart is out
And they’ve hired some kid
Burnett’s a free agent
Let this kid make a bid!

The ChiSox won the series
Biggio weeps with Bags
Ozzie Guillen’s a hero
While Dusty Baker’s hope sags

So another drought is ended
And I hope I’m not such a dork
When I pray to the baseball gods
Let Texas make it before New York

(And I don’t mean the Mets)

Thursday, October 27, 2005


The Astros lost, sadly. The White Sox were just too much for them (or any team perhaps).

I sure got tired of seeing Joe Crede in the middle of every play. And Pierzynski. And Konerko.


Anyone see that suit Pedro Martinez was wearing? Jeez, was it actually made out of caucasian flesh?


Got two sick kids now. THEGIRL went to school yesterday, but she coughed a lot and didn’t nap.

THEBOY woke up telling me his stomach felt like he was going to die. I suspected it was an act since his sister had been getting so much attention for being sick.

Kelli says the moment I left the house he vomited.

That’s right… I’ve got two sick kids at home, and they don’t even have the same damn bug.


Of course, since I’ve used every last resource, idea, favor and extension to get the sick kids covered one week before I’m supposed to HAVE any vacation time at this new job, well, if I get sick (or some demonic combination of their illnesses) I’ll probably have to work anyway.

When you complain about this kind of thing and you’re a parent, it sounds selfish.

Selfishness is a bad trait in a parent I suppose. But man, anything other than utter altruism and selflessness will come off that way.


I do feel bad for them both, believe me. Like Sherman Alexie said, “A father with a sick child is an angry god.” Leave my kids alone, you stupid-ass virus. Why pick on someone so small? I can take it… square off with me…

But they never listen.


That same Alexie short story, the name of which escapes me right now, is where I first heard the phrase “chocolate thunder.” Man… I laugh just thinking about it.


If you haven’t read his stuff, you really, really should.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Match the Mugshots

It's the game sensation that's sweeping the nation... click on "Face 2 Face" and see if you can match before/after shots of meth addicts. C'mon, it's fun!

The Grays

...had a video.

Who knew?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Masochist in Me is the Sadist in You

Astros just tied it 5-5--this is exciting baseball! I have this feeling my gut that we're just in for heartbreak though. It's the same feeling I had watching every Rangers playoff game after our one and only victory over the Yankees in '96.

Texas went on to get swept in the playoffs in '98 and '99, if you recall. By the last game of that second sweep I was ready for a straightjacket. The local headline read NIGHTMARE.


But... the Astros are built on pitching, which the Rangers haven't often had. It ain't over yet.


Not a good workout tonight. Man the human body is a funny machine. I ate baked tilapia with asparagus. At the gym my stamina was mediocre, my inspiration about zip. I got through the workout, then played gym coach and told myself to get my ass upstairs to the track to run a mile. That helped.


Lidge is getting loose. Whichever deity is pulling duty tonight... please, don't let Lidge give up another walkoff homer.


Kelli and I split duties watching sick Laura today. She had no fever at any point, but that cough of hers bothers me. Last night she'd had a fever, so we opted to keep her home today.

I don't qualify for vacation at KTVT until 11/05. I explained my dilemma to them, and they graciously offered to give me some vacation time early.

I have to admit that I'm really not used to a employer being so... so... reasonable.


Tried on my Halloween costume tonight. Ah, I have indeed conjured the Torgo spirit. No one will know who the heck I am, but I might take along a DVD or something. People need to see Manos: The Hands of Fate.


The woman who runs THEBOY'S new daycare stopped us as we left today. She said she just had to tell me what a good boy he is, and how he is well-behaved even when the other students aren't. She said the rules are important to him, and he sets a good example for the others.

She said a kid like that could grow up to be president. I was flattered, and THEBOY was proud. And vice versa.


Kelli's wrapped up in su doku puzzles these days. I haven't done it, but if the draw is anything like Scrabble... I'd better not even start.


UFC2 last night... I'm telling you, Luke is an interesting character. Sometimes he seems like an animal, sometimes he seems brilliant. And he's won two good fights now.


I'm going to end this now, and preserve this moment in time where the Astros are still in it. Maybe they'll go on to win tonight, maybe not. But I'll just close this out here as a little time capsule.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I can’t hit a fastball

I dreamed I was playing in some big baseball game. Not major league stuff; the stadium was way too small. But it was real baseball (not softball), and I was about to bat.

And I was thinking, I can’t hit a fastball. I’ve never been able to. When I swing they’ll see that I can’t, and then I’ll get all fastballs.

The dream ended before I got to the plate.


The Rangers can't hit anything Brad Lidge throws. Why is he pitching like my sister in the world series??

(Sorry sis)


Saw a bit on some news channel about displaced New Orleans musicians. It was largely about relative unknowns, like guys who play on the streets for tourists and such.

I believe they were showing a bunch in Portland, talking about how accommodations have been made to get these guys gigs.

And in one fleeting shot they showed the Wild Magnolias, in full-blown “Indian” regalia, putting on a show. That was quite cool.


Good luck, ya’ll (what with this being Monday and all…)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Weekend Things

Paul Konerko just hit a grand slam off Qualls. First pitch, too, and now it's 6-4 in the 7th inning. Hoo boy.


Good weekend here, baseball aside. Got my development test score back: 80. The highest was an 88, in fact. He knows it was a tough test. Instead of curving, he's made us a novel offer: Write out answers to the ones we missed and we can get half credit back. I'll take it. I'll walk away with an A, after all is said and done (unless there's something about this he's not telling us).


Yesterday afternoon we put up our Halloween decorations, which went well. THEBOY and I carved a couple jack o' lanterns, then arranged all the little pumpkins and hay and corn and stuff Kelli picked up that morning. Then came lights, props... nice.

We also hit Goodwill and the Army Navy store to get the stuff together for my Torgo costume. Still gotta make a replica of his walking stick (a long black pole with some sort of hand on the end) and figure out how to pad the knees.


Man... kids eat free at Luby's on Saturdays. If I get a veggie plate, that means the four of us walk out for $10.81 for some decent food. I couldn't feed us four frozen dinners for that price.


THEGIRL, that darling girl of ours, is showing a stubborn streak lately. She'll flat-out ignore you if you try to stop her from doing something. She has a one-track mind, and no volume or tone of voice makes a bit of difference to her. If you physically stop her she'll either slap you or throw something. She has tried to throw a plate of food more than once.


We have a new tool. We've got a WHISTLE.

You read right.

If she's ignoring our admonitions to stop doing something, we cover our ears while a grownup gives a blast on that thing.

It gets her attention. It's effective thus far. In fact, it makes her hustle.

Not sure it's a great approach though. At some point she might learn to cover her own ears, or might stop caring altogether. But for now we're getting the message across at least.


Monday looms. I'm really not in the mood for a work week already.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A psychologist’s HMO joke:

Psychologist (into the phone): “Hello, we have a bit of a situation here. One of my clients, and a member of your HMO, is sitting in my office, saying he’s going to kill himself. In fact, he has a gun in his lap.”

HMO rep: “Is the gun cocked?”

And the Pitch...

Aaaaaaah… Friday!

I’m in jeans and a t-shirt (my “crazy robot shirt,” as Hood called it) that were once too small on me. Hovering around 163-164 at the moment. Feeling good. Nice to take the stairs and not be winded at the top.


No test scores last night, dang it, but class was otherwise very good. We’re finally getting into the specifics of how to treat clients in an office, administering tests, that sort of thing.


Current music: “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder.


Was working out the other night and VH1 was on. Mid-workout they ran their “Movies That Rock” open, and I hoped for something interesting, high energy even (Rock ‘n’ Roll High School anyone?).

It was Waiting to Exhale.

I call bullshit.

It was really deflating somehow, even with no sound. I wanted to go upstairs to the jogging track just to pitch myself over the edge.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

And if you'll look to your left...


Among the things that stand out about these Astros are the bond
they have forged and they heart they have shown.

So now comes the corny part, right? The part about heart and
resiliency, and tears and disappointment?

No. Now comes the part that maybe best gives a glimpse into the
soul of this team ... and it is one of the greatest, funniest
stories of this postseason.

After Pujols put a dagger through their hearts with that ninth-
inning, two-out, three-run homer against closer Brad Lidge to
steal away Game 5 and prevent the Astros from clinching their
first-ever World Series berth in Minute Maid Park, they boarded
their charter flight midday Tuesday for the trip to St. Louis.

Catcher Brad Ausmus had hatched a plan, obtained approval from
Astros management and delivered it safely to their pilot.

While the rest of America talked about how devastated the Astros
must have been and wondered whether they would appear on the Busch
Stadium field for Game 6 disguised as a bowl of Jell-O, something
entirely different was happening in the friendly skies.

According to Ausmus, several minutes after takeoff, the pilot said
something pretty close to this over the plane's public address
system: "We've reached our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. I've
turned off the fasten seatbelt sign and turned off the cabin
lights. If you look to the left of the aircraft, in the next two
or three minutes you might be able to catch a glimpse of Albert
Pujols' home run ball."

If only the rest of us could have heard the roar.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Latest pix in the "Party for Sterling" and "The Cowkids" folders.

20 mph all day, man

The first song Launch played today was “In the Meantime” by Helmet.

That’s a good sign.



Jeez, the broadcast listings in the Star Telegram sports page showed only the Astros/Cards at 7pm. It looked kind of ominous, just sitting there by itself among the listings.


Good workout last night. I mean, a genuine grade-A affair. Went quickly, stamina was good… rare for it to go quite that well.


Llorca has re-appeared. Guess I can stop calling all the Hare Krisna temples looking for him.


Current music: “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard.


I still say that if you’re called a “Supermodel” you should be able to fly.


And you know… what’s with school zones these days? Why is it that oftentimes the only notification you have that you’re LEAVING one is that you see the backside of the sign that notifies the folks driving the other direction that they’re ENTERING the school zone? Why is this okay? What if you miss it? We’re not really liable for what’s on the flipside of signs on the other side of the street, are we? I might miss one and drive 20 mph all day, man.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

third-tier underwear

I must say that I find some of the images popping up on Yahoo lately a bit… curious.


Current music: “Dweller on the Threshold” by Van Morrison.


I’m down to third-tier underwear somehow. This means I’m wearing the baseball-themed boxers with the scratchy tag in the back. You should have seen me in my cube this morning, boxers pulled up out of my khakis as I felt around back with my sharp knife, trying to cut the tag out. I almost gave myself a wound that would have been damn tough to explain in the ER.


The Astros… hoo boy, I hope this isn’t a bad sign. Two strikes away, with one of the most dominant closers in the game on the mound, and they couldn’t make a 4-2 lead over the Cardinals stick last night. A chance to get a rare win against Chris Carpenter, celebrate the pennant victory in their home ballpark… gone. But it only takes one more win, and I’ll take Oswalt or Clemens against anyone the Cards can march out. Matt Morris is good, but he’s not great.


Got a really cool soundboard recording of a Helmet show. It was recorded this month at some venue in Virginia, on the last date of a 10-city tour. Hamilton is in fine spirits, joking with the crowd. Dusted off some rarely-performed stuff too, like “Just Another Victim.” I always wondered how they did it live. Turns out the answer is easy: They just omit the second half, which was House of Pain’s contribution to the song. Had to wonder if Hamilton would turn the baseball cap sideways, start bustin’ rhymes…


Ah, good coffee today… I’m feelin’ the love. I’m not all pissy like I was yesterday.


Wherefore art thou, Llorca?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Point at Which I Can Breathe...

What a day.

The development test was a bitch, it really was. Trick questions, random details about various theories and such (and we've covered a lot), a genuine red herring...

"So how'd you do, Brisc?"

Glad you asked. Or not.

Um... I'd say a C is a real possibility. Wow. And you know, I went back over the test (50 questions), and changed six or seven of my answers. Usually not a good sign, but I kind of felt like taking the test had warmed me up by that point, like I was finally awake enough to grasp some of them. I think changing the answers improved my chances, actually.

Maybe I got a B. I was the last one to leave, and the prof asked me if I thought it was fair.

Okay. I've had two huge tests this week. I emphasized the other test, as I've mentioned. Since that one I've spent every spare moment (and then some) cramming for the development test. When my vision got blurry while studying last night I went to Starbucks for an infusion of sugar and caffeine.

The test was HARD. Is it because I tried to cover too much in too little time? Or was it hard for everyone?

By the time I finished, I was really in no shape to say much to the prof except, "I like Jello."


The consensus, by the way, was that the test was a bitch.

I think I told the prof I thought it was fair.


This afternoon... the highlights and lowlights:

Helped Kelli plant some flowers.

Had lunch at Luby's.

Picked up her cake.

Took a good nap.

Worked myself into a tizzy over the messy house that needed cleaning before the babysitter's arrival.


Then, of course, came Kellipalooza 40. We hit Dave and Buster's with an intimate-yet-good group for some really good food, a little pool and shuffleboard, some cake and gifts.

Our guests:

Geoff and Mel--GREAT to see them. They were a lot of fun!

Kimber and... cannot recall his name-- She was funny and interesting, and he, as I learned too late, has seriously good taste in music. That is, he likes Helmet and Bad Brains too. Wish I'd had a chance to talk to him more.

Heather--Having her around is like having another Kelli around in a way. She and Kelli are thick as thieves these days, and I'm glad Kelli's got such an angel for a buddy.

Joie and Yvette--Hambone! I believe I'd be glad to invite those two to anything for the rest of my life.

Teri and Peter--Little T! Ever known folks you always mean to catch up with and maybe swing the odd dinner with? Bingo. Getting to know Teri and Geoff (and Hood, who had to work tonight) was probably the best thing that happened to me at BACS.

And that was IT.

Yep. 11 total guests.

At some point in throwing a party I always get the feeling like I profoundly misunderstand something, like there's some step or procedure or measure of cool I'm simply unaware of. Invite 30, end up with 11.

But like I said, it was a game little group, with good stories and a nice vibe. Kelli was pleased, and that's what really mattered when all was said and done.


Tomorrow, Corsicana...

Ya'll be good.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Ganked from Ulitave.

Leave one memory of you and me together. It doesn't matter if I know you a little or a lot, anything you remember! Next, post this in your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you

(I didn’t participate in his because I don’t really know the man per se. I just enjoy his writing.)

Have a good weekend. Hope to see some of you at Kellipalooza 40.

The Saga

Ah, UT baseball is finally getting an upgraded facility.


I studied like Rain Man for last night’s appraisal/assessment mid-term. Hard class for sure, and you know, I had some anxiety about taking a big test in a class about how to give tests. See what I’m getting at? All kinds of potential for … chicanery! Shenanigans!

Just wanted to use those words.

But it went well. I think I got an A, unless I screwed up the math, in which case a B will do.


I ran five miles Wednesday night. Man the human body is a strange machine. Mechanically things were great. No knee pain, no hip pain, nothing. But two miles in it was clear my stamina was shot. On a cool night with the body otherwise cooperating I still had to just tough out five miles. I’m still waiting for the elusive “runner’s high” (which probably occurs at greater distances), but let me tell you being DONE with that run felt great!


Ah, Mr. J Prowse told me recently he’s keeping up with my saga (did he call it a “self improvement saga”? Can’t recall for sure) via this humble site.

Saga… that would explain all these Hobbits.

But you know, I can see what he means. In the process of living one’s life, well, I guess sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.

I mean, I know there’s some order, some direction, some plan to all this stuff I’m doing. But it just feels like the routine, just one day after another. Does that make any sense? I mean, this “saga” word, aside from bringing to mind some 80s rock band, sounds like there’s a PLOT.

I’m probably not conveying what I mean very well. Let me take another approach:

I participated some years ago in a chat with author Jerry Stahl. He wrote Permanent Midnight (ah, another junkie memoir for my shelves… so many of my heroes are addicts it’s not even funny), I, Fatty, and is (or was, at least) a contributing writer on CSI. I asked him probably the best interview question I’ll ever come up with: By writing about his life, was he in retrospect lending an order and meaning to things that didn’t seem to have them at the time?

He gave a good answer, saying that indeed he had. And like a lot of us, in the middle of those times—his were hectic with drugs, though it’d be similar for anyone I guess—it’s not like he saw direction, connections or meaning.

So it took time for him to achieve perspective. I suppose it takes either time or someone else’s perspective to point out, sometimes, that there’s a bigger picture.

(See what you started, Purr?)


Ugh… another test tomorrow, and it could be a bad one. Nervous as I was about appraisal/assessment, I chose to focus on that exam all week. Only last night did I start to review for lifespan development. Lots of material, and some difficult concepts.

After that I’ll be quite ready to have some fun tomorrow night at Kellipalooza 40.

Happy birthday, hon. You wear it well.

(Note to anyone coming to the party: If you want to bring an unannounced guest, feel free. We're just a pinch shy on the headcount, so we might as well do what we can to get the food eaten, right?)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Adios, Twig

Wayne Terwilliger is retiring at the age of 80, after 57 seasons in baseball. Astonishing.


Ah, Fort Worth has a plan to run out the grackles: gunfire. As if having kids hadn’t frayed my nerves enough.


Hey you Wisconsin boys… know this turkey? His daughter ate some of his pot brownies, and now he may be going to the pokey.


Here’s what stress does: Friday, which was awful, I saw Kelli over lunch. I probably wasn’t good company, as I was too wrapped up in the circus my workday had become.

And as I left the house, I heard that old familiar voice telling me to dig through the medicine drawer to find something to take the edge off.

These are the things I didn’t admit for years.


I didn’t do it. Just had that urge.


But you know… what’s the opposite of self-destructive? Is it self-constructive? Man that’s got an infomercial sort of ring to it.

But whatever the opposite of self-destructive is, that’s what I’ve become. Working out, busting my butt in school… Good for the body, mind and soul. Apparently I’m not good at being complacent.


I will be off tomorrow. I plan to study for tomorrow night’s appraisal/assessment mid-term, do some jogging, maybe stop by THEBOY'S school to have lunch with him, and maybe squeeze in a nap.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

So Long, Yankees

Ah... five years running the Yankees exit without winning the world series. I love to watch the Yankees lose. Above, Bernie Williams, one of the few Yanks who don't make my skin crawl, makes me very happy.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Pounding the Pavement

Finally got my new shoes.

After the debacle that found me at the closed Run On location in Irving, I headed into Dallas, determined to get this done. I spent about a half hour with a grown salesperson who spent a lot of time analyzing my running/walking stride, measuring my feet, etc.

I went out to run last night and am quite pleased at the results. The knee pain that’s slowed me down lately is not in evidence currently. Descending stairs makes them bark a little, but not even in the same place as before. I think that’s just standard post-workout soreness.

I do have a sore hip that concerns me though. I spent months in physical therapy a couple years ago trying to get this thing to stop bugging me. Bursitis is what they called it. Hey, I gave my body a real pounding last night, so maybe this is no big deal.


In fact, I thought was running three miles, but according to my pedometer I actually went nearly four. Nice little accident to have. My stamina was good, mechanics weren’t bad, and in the final stretch I went into a genuine sprint for about 100 yards. I was glad to have that much left in the tank.


I’ve gotta say that I have the interval training Whit suggested to thank for this. It’s getting me used to recovering from difficult stretches while still exerting myself. If I jog up a hill, I can still maintain a decent pace after that while catching my breath from the exertion. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and I’m certain it’s directly attributable to the interval training. My hat’s off to Sifu McClendon.


Henley ran a marathon in Chicago yesterday, and messaged me to say that, considering how tough it was, he’s glad to have finished at all.


Fat Possum just sent out a mailer saying Paul “Wine” Jones died of cancer yesterday. I’m not sure, but I believe he’s the guy from the You See Me Laughin’ documentary who basically thought he’d sold his soul to the devil to get a record put out. After that his life went to crap, and he always blamed it on the record.


Work beckons… hang in there. It won’t be Monday forever.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Tractor Guy

Been a good weekend I'd say. UT whooped OU, the Yankees and Braves face elimination, kids have been pretty good, no class this morning... Yeeeeah. BB happy.


Words to the song I made up at breakfast this morning, as THEGIRL danced while eating her raisins: "Raisin dance, raisin dance, everybody loves to do the raisin dance. Raisin dance, raisin dance, stand on your toes and shake your pants!"


Jim Edmonds just made a great catch against the wall on a long fly from Khalil Green. Nice!


Kelli was at an Egyptology conference all day, leaving the kids with me. They were quite good, all things considered. I even took them to a nice resale shop and loaded them up with clothes. Scored this sweet fleece hoodie for Kevin that has Batman on the front and back. I wish it was just a little bigger, but for $3.50 how could I refuse?

Tonight I took THEBOY to see the Wallace and Gromit movie, which we both enjoyed.


Helped Hood strike his gear again last night. Man... there's something about these facilities where they feel like they've got a license to mistreat you sometimes.

We were making good time getting out of there. Hood pulled his rented minivan onto the field to load up the big cable spool and miscellaneous RF gear. An obese old guy pulled up on one of those little flatbed tractors and started barking at us, asking if we had permission to bring the van on the field. We did. Asked how long we'd be, and Hood estimated it'd be 20 minutes. Keep in mind that this was GOOD time we were making. And the guy grumbled under his breath. Hood offered to lock up for him, and he said, "No you cain't either or you're gonna get me FIRED!"

He turned his tractor around and zipped off. In moments the stadium went completely dark. The bastard cut the lights on us. Luckily we had the van's headlights to help. And when we went to leave--you guessed it--we'd been locked in. WOW. Everyone was gone, the stadium was dark, and somehow this old guy thought padlocking us in was justified.

I wasn't awfully worried, as on the other side of the locked gate was MY van. In my mind I was giving this scenario about five minutes to get resolved before I planned to hop the gate to get my wrench. The latch on the gate wasn't exactly complicated, and I'd have been perfectly content to undo the two bolts holding it together and let Tractor Guy explain it to his boss.

The boss showed up though, apologizing to me. I told him it was okay, because I knew HE wasn't the one who did it.


Tomorrow is Sterling's birthday party, and I'm also going to buy some real running shoes so I can resume my regimen.

Ya'll have a good weekend.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quick Friday Update

In the wake of the Kinsey Report (1948 was it?), the UK also commissioned a sex study.

They found the results appalling, so they chose not to release the information.

Until now.

I find this highly amusing. It also makes for interesting discussions in my classes.


Doug Pinnick of King’s X has changed his name to dUg, according to their website.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Tres Pedazos...

Another enjoyable piece from Andy Johnson.


Current music: “Change Gonna Come” by Otis Redding.


Listening to “Hurry Up Sunrise” by the North Mississippi All Stars makes me think the band should really be called The Allman Nephews.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

this pain

It never entirely goes away, this pain. I mean, it's not the presence it once was. I've always had it, I suppose. Maybe you have too.

I wasn't sure what to do with it for the longest time. I embraced it, stroked it, fed it. Literature and music led the pain and me down the rabbit hole, where I'd brood.

(Brood: what a great word)

I liked it down in that hole, in a way. The fierce independence that comes with saying, "Don't screw with me right now," verbally or nonverbally, is enthralling. I could spin a grey cloud a mile wide. Sometimes people mistakenly thought I was glaring at them. Sometimes it was no mistake.

And it wasn't logical, this pain. I mean, objectively I could look at it, know what triggered it. I could itemize it, write an outline, whatever. But it didn't always keep a schedule, and didn't work in proportion to the stimuli. I can look back at moments that were some of the darkest, and why those very specific moments were that painful I can't explain.

It tries to show up in unexpected places. I can hear it when I'm jogging. Why are you doing this to yourself? it asks. There's no point in beating yourself up like this, is there? You're just going to die at some point anyway.

This pain thrives on a lack of hope.

I have hope. I see it in my kids, in the way my body and mind are responding to new challenges. I think there's a point to my life, to life in general. Believing fervently that there IS a point to it all is either my greatest strength or my greatest weakness.


Now that it's no longer got me by the lapels, this pain tries to reach me in other ways. Empathy is admirable, I suppose, but it's a channel, an open conduit as well.

I see this pain in the heartbroken, hear it in their voices as they search for strength and meaning on their path.

I hear it on the phone in the voices of people I love, people I don't see often enough.

I see it dancing merrily between the estranged and the luckless.

It peers out at me from the eyes of people living that life I've seen, that life I've experienced vicariously, but am thankful, when I'm mindful enough to give thanks, that it's not my life.

I can sense it in class, when the professor asks us a question and is dumbfounded to get no answers; he doesn't understand how much breaking the silence would hurt some of his students.

(You want to see this pain? Take a look around a classroom full of psychology students.)

This pain doesn't get to me like it once did, but it hurts to watch it go to work on others.

And I say SCREW YOU, you conjurer of misery, you step-sibling of malice and spite. If I could pry your fingers from our hearts I would. Let me get my own grip on you, bent on evening the score and then some for every tear, every broken heart, every wordless moment of suffering, every handful of pills meant to silence you that awful way.

Let us live in peace. Stop blocking the road to contentment and happiness and love. You are not merciful, but perhaps, as the sun has set and the day comes to an end you will let us slip into forgetful slumber.



That's a somewhat unfinished rumination I've plinked away at for a while. I'm not getting much creative writing done these days, so I thought I'd post it just to let it breathe a bit.

Note: I am not depressed, especially at this very moment. This is not meant to be cryptic or have some sort of hidden meaning. It is what it is.

Good night, sweet night.

Empty Golf Shirts and Huge Knees

What I want to be for Halloween: Torgo, from the movie Manos: The Hands of Fate.


Mark Teixeira, in today’s Dallas Morning News, admits he had never spoken to recently-ousted Rangers GM Jon Hart.

And that’s just the proof I need, really. The guy had a reputation as an empty golf shirt around here, a non-presence in times of crisis (like Kenny Rogers’ assault on a camera operator, ARod’s departure, the chair-throwing incident in Oakland… the list goes on and on). I thought maybe he didn’t like to talk to the media, and I don’t know that I’ll ever blame someone for that.

But Teixeira is poised to be a new ARod, in fact. Tremendous talent, squeaky-clean image, and represented by Scott Boras. To discover that the first-in-charge in the organization (under owner Tom Hicks) never said a word to him… that’s just appalling.


Current music: “Ramblin’ Rose” by the MC5


And you know… as rare as it was, Hart DID speak to the media sometimes. No avoiding it. And he certainly talked about Teixeira and his performance, his contract, his agent, his future here… How would you like for your boss to talk to the newspapers/broadcasters about you without having so much as said hello to you? Ever.


Great workout last night. I feel like I’m reaching another level with my endurance. Weighing in at 167.5 most of the time. Weight drop is slow now, but I’m steadily changing shape, reaping the benefits of having real stamina for once.

On the way out of the gym last night I bumped into a couple young guys who’d been playing in the basketball tournament. They were having a post-game cigarette. I won’t go all “after-school special” on ya, but you know… doesn’t something about that strike them as odd?


I’ve heard stories about ex-Rangers pitcher Charlie Hough jogging with a smoke dangling from his lips.


Have a grand Wednesday, ya’ll.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Finally, an Answer to the Question:

"What can my dog be for Halloween?"


The Rangers wrapped up their season yesterday with a loss to the Angels. I love my team, but they’re just not that good.

In Spring training, Hood and I watched this team (like Buck Showalter and Orel Hershiser, above), and wondered what the season would hold. But… this was about what we expected.


The Astros clinched their division though (whoo hoo!), and though the Yankees did take the AL East, Boston clinched the wildcard berth. Man a Houston/Boston world series would kill me!


Kelli and I did have a fine date at the Rangers Saturday night game. It was great to be out just as the two of us, with no kids in tow. The Rangers lost by one run (how many times has that happened this season? PLENTY). There was a fireworks show afterwards set to Beatles music, and it was great, just great. They don’t mess around, don’t do a half-assed job in the least.


An interview with former MST3K prop diva Beez McKeever—cool!


I think people are usually too quick to proclaim themselves phobic about something. Seems like most of the women I know claim to be claustrophic, somehow. And I think the people making these claims are mixing up natural, reasonable fears with the debilitating, unreasonable sorts of fears (aka phobias).

I always said I wasn’t scared of heights. It’s not like I have anything to prove. It’s just that in a handful of episodes in my life, I experienced no anxiety while others around me did. Genie lift in some studio to run ambient mikes? No problem. Floor to ceiling windows way up in some skyscraper? No problem.

Well, I was put to the test Friday night.


Went to strike radio gear with Hood again. With a broadcast ending, people filing out of the stadium and maintenance guys eager to shut things down, it’s kind of a race to get the gear out. Hood first asked me to fetch the ambient mikes from the catwalk outside the press box. No problem.

Heh heh… to get there, you’ve gotta climb the railing at the edge of the top-floor walkway. No gate, no stairs, and in fact, you have to jump over a gap of about a foot to get on it. Below that is about a forty foot drop to the concourse.

And this catwalk is nothing but a metal grate with no handrails or anything. Again, you look straight down and you see the forty foot drop.

So… I can’t claim it was no problem. I was careful, watched my step, and kept in mind what an awful fall it could be. I gathered the mikes, wrapped the cable and was done.

But I’d say that was very natural, very reasonable fear I had. Not a phobia for sure, and heck, it wasn’t that bad. I don’t think a phobic would have made it over the rail.


Monday. One foot after the other I suppose.