Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Not sure what I'll write, or why I feel compelled to write.


Dad is home, and I spoke to him briefly. He had a lot of visitors yesterday, and I know he got some calls today. He sounded worn out, and mostly I just wanted to hear his voice.

He spoke to Kevin, and of course, they talked about fishing.


Work wasn't a disaster when I got back. My duties had been nicely covered, and I really wasn't overwhelmed with stuff to do.

I came home tonight and knocked out a paper that's due tomorrow. I hope I did it right. My brain is tired, and there's some cryptic bit in my notes I don't understand. I'm worried it refers to something in the paper I've neglected to do. I emailed a classmate, but at this point I'm running out of time to make any substantial changes.


Something seems to be up with Geoff's blog (, as all I get is a blank page when I click over. Hmm...


Tired. Very tired.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

From Angleton


It’s a fine line I’ve gotta walk here. God knows I pour out my mind and heart here about whatever’s on my mind.

But I have to keep in mind some issues of privacy and respect in this particular scenario. Bear with me.


I’m in Angleton at the moment, here because my father is in the ICU. I got the call yesterday afternoon. Bad symptoms, bad business this particular ailment that’s put him in there. Had he not agreed to go to the ER Saturday he’d likely be dead now.

He is expected to live. There aren’t words for how grateful I am for that.


I hadn’t been in that hospital since I was maybe eight or nine years old. I’d managed to slice my head open on a clothes rack in some since-gone store. Nowadays it’d mean a lawsuit, but back then it meant a panicked trip to the ER as I bled into my hand, scared my brain would slide out through the gash. Whit’s mother drove.

Dad happened to be in the hospital at the time. He was getting the most thorough physical I’ve ever heard of. Who checks into a hospital for this kind of thing? But he did, and they brought me upstairs to see him.

Downstairs I’d seen EMTs bring in a man in a big, chaotic scene. I can still see them wheeling him past the stairs. He’d been in a skiing accident, hit a bridge support. I believe he lived but lost his arm.


Those were the stairs I took tonight as I came and went over the course of a couple visits with Dad.


This whole area seems to be stuck in the past somehow, stuck in some never-changing era that’s specific to HERE. As I left the hospital after the first visit, the radio started to play “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” by Traffic. I know I haven’t heard that song in 15-20 years. It was in regular rotation in the 80s on classic rock stations. I guess that hasn’t changed.

And it was followed by “Free Bird.”


I was in a daze, though, having left my Dad in that awful state. I know I babbled while there. Poor exhausted, sick Dad. Do I stay kind of quiet, try not to say to much to a guy who must be mentally exhausted too? Or do I just sort of uncork here and there, sharing stories and family updates with a guy who has done nothing but sit upright in a hospital bed and listen to machines beep since Saturday?

I leaned more towards the latter, until he started drifting off to sleep.


I found myself turning right out of the hospital parking lot, away from town and towards Whit’s old house. That’s where Whit and I spent so many days and nights finding adventure, prying odd-looking rocks from the soil or wandering along the banks of the creek that skirted the back of the property. Today the house seemed much closer to the road, much smaller than I remembered.

The whole thing just about moved me to tears.


From there I wandered to the mall to buy gifts, but that’s a heck of a state to shop in. I managed to spend some money anyway.


I saw my sister, and we spoke seriously, albeit briefly, about Dad and what the present and future hold for him and for the family.

Her kids had just wrapped up their naps, and they were both cute as they played with the late birthday gifts I brought them.


This evening Dad was much more alert, much more like his old self. I narrowly missed seeing my aunt and uncle there, dang it.

But it was good to see that Dad had eaten his first real food in days. He’s just learned that he’s being moved out of the ICU soon.


I’m not sure when I’ll return to work. What can I say? It’s not exactly my first priority at this point. They’ve been very understanding regarding all this.

I’d like to see Dad make some good strides, start to feel better and be ready to come home. I’d like to know when I leave that he’s in the home stretch, about to be up and around again.


Then, of course, there’ll be the matter of what happens from here on out.


I’m home now, back in Hurst with my family. Dad was moved out of the ICU last night. The stuff they’re monitoring has been “okay,” according to the doctor, and there’s talk of Dad being released tomorrow.

Several people came to see him this morning. I really wanted to be alone with him, but I had to wait until after lunch.

In fact, I was on my way out of town when I stopped in to see him. It’s not like they send up some sort of flare in this situation. You’ve kinda got to make a judgment call. Dad’s improved, sounding and acting more like his usual self. I’ve got two papers due in the next four days, one of which is 75% written, and one of which I’ve not begun.

Tomorrow is also a double log day at work.


I’d told THEBOY he could call me whenever he wanted while I was away, and he did. The first night he was in tears before I was two hours away. Consequently, so was I.

I promised I’d bring him a nice surprise. Over the course of several calls his request changed from “something big and cool” to this particular Spider-man web-shooting gizmo he’s been eyeing in the store for a long time. I knew he wanted it, but it’s a messy toy that has to be used outside or in the shower, you know? Hard to strap on him, hard to set up correctly. We finally got it going, and for all the effort he got about sixty seconds of goopy Silly String dumped into his palm.

There’s a water-spraying option as well, so he hit the shower. About every thirty seconds I’d have to go in there and refill it or tighten or move something. Just as I expected, the toy was a lot of trouble.

But I didn’t lose sight of the fact that he thought it was just terrific.


THEGIRL was very clingy and sweet, peppering me with kisses and commanding, “Up!” from the moment I walked in. I spent several minutes adjusting Kevin’s web-shooting gizmo with her on my hip.

I gave her a Zoe (from Sesame Street) doll. She gave it kisses immediately, and took it to bed with her.


I won’t go all Circle of Life on you, but I will admit that the dose of optimism I got from seeing such young, vibrant life in the form of my kids was exactly what I needed after worrying myself sick over Dad.


Get better, Pop. We love you.


I'm in Angleton due to a family emergency.

I'll be back in Hurst no later than tomorrow (Wednesday) evening I'd guess.

Ya'll have a good week.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Graveyard Full of Bats

This is from the first of two books my son made today. He drew the pictures on the blank pages, and he dictated what the words should say:

(Page 1)

Bat (flying): Where can I find some food? I can go to my tree.

(Page 2)

Witch (on her broom): Why is it time for night time?

Bat (hanging from tree): We can play in the dark.

(Page 3)

Bat (flying): Ooh, I never saw a scary pumpkin before!

(Diamond thumps pumpkin)

Pumpkin: The bears are coming, so hide somewhere!

(Page 4)

Daddy Bat (flying): It's time to go home

(Page 5)

Witch (flying on her broom): Oh, I think I hear something!

(Flap flap flap!) (Bat wings)

(Page 6)

Pumpkin: Hey, what are you doing?

Daddy Bat: I'm just taking my son home

Pumpkin: Son?

(Page 7)

Witch: Ha ha ha!

Bat: Hey, what do you think is so funny about me?

(Page 8)

Bat (hanging from tree): Hey, what's making that noise?

(Whooooo) (wind)

(Page 9)

Bat: Hey, what's up, Pumpkin? Why are you a different shape and so happy?

Pumpkin: I'm a different pumpkin.

(Page 10)

Bat (in hole in a tree): Why is it so cold tonight? Don't worry, it's just cold.

(Page 11)

Bat: I'm so glad!

(Bzzt!) (sound of magic)

(Page 12)

Bat: Oh my wings!

(Bat's wings are now round)

(Page 13)

Bat: Why did my wings change into a different shape?



Coming soon: The Ghosts Who Stole Diamonds

Thanksgiving Leftovers

It was a good Thanksgiving for us I’d say. It went almost exactly according to the script, so it was comforting, familiar. All of the food was good, seeing the Corsicana family was good too… I’m tired now, due for bed soon. I’m the last one up, as usual.


If I ever saw a ghost, it was probably last week at the TV station. I was walking down the hall and saw her:

Elderly woman with frizzy black curls stacked atop her head in some fancy country ‘do from ages past. She had sharp features and pursed lips, and had a very Appalachian look to her. She was dressed in the kind of finery my grandparents would have worn to church. Black, ankle-length dress, a touch of makeup, jewelry. She clutched a Bible as she went into the restroom. She was completely out of context there at the station.


The six miles I ran at the rec center last night may have injured me. Since the track is so short there, you’re basically turning the whole time you run. In this case, I was turning right. All that pushing off with the left leg has left my knee very sore. I hope this doesn’t prove to be a problem. I’m hoping it’ll come around, and that I can run again long about Sunday. Just not at the rec center.


In Nepal there’s a teenager whom some believe is the reincarnation of the Buddha. He’s been meditating in the jungle there since May, and visitors are flocking by the thousands. No one is allowed to see him at night.

This is pretty fascinating stuff to a low-level Buddhism student like myself. I mean, this is basically their god’s return to earth. Strictly speaking, the Buddha was not a god per se, but given the reverence surrounding him he’s certainly been deified.

I’m curious to see how this will unfold. It shouldn’t be like the selection of a Dalai Lama, for example, which also involves reincarnation and is a Really Big Deal. This is the be-all, end-all figure in Buddhism. I don’t think they’d put him in a Popemobile and send him on tour.

When Siddhartha Gautama was on the verge of achieving enlightenment, all sorts of crazy stuff was happening. Minor gods were appearing, the weather went nuts, trees moved unnaturally, that kind of stuff.

Here’s a link about it:

Little Buddha, starring Keanu Reeves, was actually a pretty good movie.


Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I Wish

Have I said this before? That's my favorite song, period. "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder is so special to me, so creative, so much a part of me that if I were stranded on an island and could only take two songs, I'd just take two copies of that song in case one got messed up.


Taken from the one and only Ulitave:

Step One

- Make a post (public, friendslocked, filtered...whatever you're comfortable with) to your blog. The post should contain your list of 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a Snape/Hermione icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.") The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.

- If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.

- Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your blog, or link to this post (it'll be public) so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two

- Surf around your friendslist (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now here's the important part:

- If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use--or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free--do it.

You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf--to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not--it's your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just...wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.

What do you wish for?


1. A 3/4 length black jacket, size 40 (I'm 5'11", 155-160 lbs, so I could be a medium or a large really... I like enough room in a jacket to accommodate a sweater underneath). Nothing awfully heavy, as I have a fine Navy pea coat that'll handle severe weather. Here's a nice one:

2. I want Joel Hodgson. I mean, I want the primary creative mind behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 to entertain me again. Not just by being a name in some credits, or maybe popping up on HBO in some scattered something... I want to see him flexing that remarkable talent of his for ME, man!

3. I want a UFO greatest hits compilation with "Lights Out" on it.

4. I want new boots in black. Maybe some new Noconas. Size 10.5

5. I want a Houston Astros NL championship cap. Something fairly tasteful, without a whole explosion of insignia. Size 7.5, but adjustable is cool. I like that stretchy stuff too.

6. I want Lanvin Vetyver cologne, sold by

7. I want a Les Paul that doesn't weigh too much.

8. I want black clothes. Black black black. Anything. I had dandruff for YEARS and couldn't wear black. I got rid of it, finally, and I love wearing black. A black long-sleeve t-shirt is perhaps the greatest piece of winter clothing. I look good in black, damn it.

9. I want a bootleg of the Paul McCartney show we attended Sunday night.

10. I want a new receiver; ours only has Pro Logic (that's how old it is), and it's crapping out.

(Sorry for the ugly links... posting from the Mac as I do, I can't put hyperlinks in for some reason.

I can be reached at


I had a wish come true.

I took Judo for a month, as you may recall. It was January of this year. In my month there, I broke my pinky toe, wrenched my back while practicing a throw on a 220 lb black belt, and had a five-day dizzy spell after some tumbling drills.

The Sensei was pregnant at the time, due in several weeks. She was high-risk, supposed to be on bed rest. But she hobbled into class a few times to lie on the sidelines and chime in where necessary. After I left I wondered what happened to the baby.

Tonight as I ran at the rec center (six miles--thank you, thank you... please return to your seats), the Judo class was going on. I recognized some of the faces. And at the end of class as the students sat in a circle for a little wrapup, I saw a baby crawling from student to student. Easily a 9-10-month-old kid.

For that moment, I am thankful.

Have a good Thanksgiving. Be safe, know that you are loved.

It’s not that I don’t LIKE you

The craziest crap happens at Starbucks.

This morning the woman in front of me was wearing some sort of ear-mounted phone gizmo. I didn’t notice until she told the barista, “I’m on the phone.” Rude, sure.

But then she went on to say, “It’s not that I don’t LIKE you. It’s just that we need to spend some time apart.”

Holy crap, she was breaking up with someone on the phone as she ordered her hazelnut latte.


The holiday itinerary:

Food in Corsicana tomorrow, returning late tomorrow night.

Yard work at some point.

A paper to write.

I’d like to mix in one more substantial run before the holiday, and I guess that just leaves tonight. I don’t mind getting up early to do it so much, but I’m creeping into distances that just take too long to cover before work.

So that means running at night, which eliminates the college since they don't allow runners after dark. I can go to the indoor track at the rec center. 12.5 laps there equal a mile... cripes, I'll need a mathematics degree just to figure out how far I've gone.


THEGIRL carried her bear around last night. She’d put him on the floor, cover him with a blanket and give him a good night kiss.

Sweet as that was, she’d get equally sour too. Man she was angry a lot last night.


Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What's That Smell? It's My Brain!

RIP Chris Whitley.


So Josh Beckett won’t be a Texas Ranger after all.

I’m disappointed, but you know, I’ll be glad to see Blalock here (if he’s not traded away at some future point). And Diamond and Danks are really the crown jewels in the minor league system right now. Giving one of them up would have hurt.

And I’d say this attempted trade bodes well for the Jon Daniels era we’re entering. It’s a semi-blockbuster sort of deal, a different approach than we grew accustomed to during John Hart’s time here.


You know, I'm not on board with the auto-flush toilets.

First, there's something disconcerting about doing one's business with what amounts to a camera pointed at one's junk. It just kind of makes me feel like somewhere, somehow, Chuck Berry is watching.

Second, hey, they don't work right. You make one wrong move (and you always DO), and you get an extra flush. A little overspray or worse, and that's just not a pleasant thought.

Ditto for the automatic faucets and those towel dispensers you basically have to practice your Tai Chi on just to get your hands dried.


I am burned out. Come on four-day weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Are You From Liverpool or Lilliput?

RIP Glenn Mitchell.

I did not personally know Glenn Mitchell while working at KERA. We’d say hi in the hall, and that was it.

But I was a fan of his show. I was constantly surprised at how interesting his guests were (like last week when I hear Bruce Campbell on his show, though it could have been a repeat).


Current music: “Without Jah, Nothing” by P.O.D. with HR (from Bad/Soul Brains)


45 minutes before we intended to depart for the Paul McCartney concert last night the tickets were nowhere to be found. And I mean NOWHERE. It was pretty awful. Kelli knew she’d put them in the hutch… she thought. I’d taken to emptying out drawers, just digging through random crap to find them.

Then I looked in the cabinet where we keep the phone books. I’d put some random stack of papers in there at some point and forgotten about them. Probably a desperate, rushed cleanup we did back when we were trying to sell the house.

And I found myself saying, “Hope, Kelli. There’s hope. This is the kind of place they could be.”

And they were.


Normally, I’d say it’s wise to try to avoid mixing up one’s Liverpudlians with one’s Lilliputians. But given how far we sat from the stage last night, well, I couldn’t blame anyone who mixed them up. Paul was small, period.

There was the huge video screen at least, so our concert experience was largely one of watching the concert on TV.

I don’t mean to disparage the event. The Arena Concert Trappings were quite cool and unbelievable, and the mix was good. It’s the first concert I’ve been to in a decade where I didn’t use earplugs. Maybe we just sat so far away that it wasn’t as loud up there.

He had a fairly tight five-piece band, and they mixed in much more modern stuff than I expected, including several songs from the new CD. But Paul… when your new CD is decent like this one, see, you don’t lose the audience when you play the new songs.

(Yes, that's BB giving imaginary performance advice to the ex-Beatle Paul McCartney)

He played obscure Beatles things too. I can honestly say that I was not familiar with “I Will,” but it was a gorgeous solo acoustic song.

We got the hits too, though, nicely balanced between fairly straight renditions and revamped approaches (the solo piano “Fixing a Hole” was nice). He was in fine voice, chatty, funny. It wasn’t the overwhelmingly emotional event I thought it could be, save for “The Long and Winding Road.” Suddenly I was a little boy again, and the voice from my stereo speakers was there, man, live and in person. And I thought I might cry. Really.

He played a lot of songs I love, like “Jet,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” and “Helter Skelter” (which ROCKED!). Heck, he wrapped up the latter with a brief instrumental foray into “Foxey Lady.” I’m not kidding.

And the pyrotechnics on “Live and Let Die” made me think that my wife and I were actually in the presence of the Great and Powerful Oz. Colored flames, explosions, and uh, more flames and explosions. That part was LOUD. Afterwards he wiggled his fingers in his ears, and I could swear I saw him mouth “I’m not doing that again” to one of the crew.

With McCartney, you’re just going to get the Arena Concert Trappings, period. You can think you’re above it all, turn your nose up at it, whatever. Or you can just know that this is a freakin’ ex-Beatle and it’s going to be BIG and just GO with it. After every song he held up his guitar (when applicable) and waved to the crowd like the show was over. He obviously enjoys the adulation. At one point he told the crowd he was just going to take a minute to “soak it all in.” He stepped away from the mic and stood at the edge of the stage while the audience went berserk at the mere sight of him. He smiled like, well, an ex-Beatle having a damn good time.

SO, it wasn’t a life-changing event, but it was a damn good one.


At the IHOP after the show we were approached by a talkative older guy who… was just all over the map. He straddled that line between amusing and annoying. Heck, he introduced himself by saying if I weren’t there with Kelli he’d be taking her home. Ha ha, funny there, gramps. Hey, I’m tryin’ to eat my short stack here…

He did ask if we minded him sitting by us, and I told him that as long as he wasn’t trying to sell something or introduce us to Jesus I didn’t mind.

In the course of the conversation, man… he claimed to have funded Harvard tuition for young women in need, instructed Darrell Royal how to have Roger Staubach play, rubbed elbows with Clive Davis… his foot was on the accelerator, but his particular motor vehicle didn’t have a steering wheel, you know?


Kelli took the hint and we bailed kinda early anyway. Been nice dude. Yes, I’ll take your business card (sells life insurance, of course, though he did not pitch it to us). Note to self: Next time hit the Denny’s.


I ran eight miles yesterday morning. Eight! For the first time I feel like I’ll be ready for the half marathon in January. I’d meant to shoot for six, and just found that I wasn’t out of steam at that point. It kinda of wiped me out that afternoon, but I’m happy to be running well.


Again, no fallout from the latest from ASS. I’m feeling a bit more bold about my dealings with this person.


Have a good Monday.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Movie of My Life

Erotic Thriller

You've made your own rules in life - and sometimes that catches up with you.
Winding a web of deceit comes naturally, and no one really knows the true you. [And I'm told it'll star John Cusack. Fine with me.]

Your best movie matches: Swimming Pool, Unfaithful, The Crush

Ice Pick

NPR’s piece on Howard Freeman’s lobotomy procedure, and one man’s quest to get some questions answered about why he received one at the age of 12. I haven’t listened to the interview, but the text is absolutely bone-chilling. Consider yourself warned.

I’m just trying to get my rock straight

Yes, it’s a robotic chimp! It’s either the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, the creepiest, or both.

Watch the video to see what the little bugger can do.

(Thanks to Toland for the tip)


The reaction from ASS? Nothing. Zip, zilch, nada. Crickets are chirping and stuff. No angry voicemail, no angry email, no burning cross in my cube this morning. Wow. Eh, I guess she might be over there gathering her armada or something, but you know, I suppose there’s a good chance she just plain knows when she’s licked.


Current music: “Soul Craft” by Bad Brains. It took me an awful long time to view these guys the right way for some reason. Oh, it’s probably because I started with Quickness, which has a decidedly metal sheen.

So for the longest time to me they were a metal band that had hardcore leanings (and of course, a mistress called reggae).

But that’s all mixed up. I’d say Bad Brains will be remembered as a hardcore band, first and foremost. (I’m not dismissing the reggae stuff, as much as I’d like to dismiss the entire genre, or at least the part not found on Bob Marley’s Legend CD. I’m just trying to get my rock straight.)


I’m here with the iPod again, with seven hours of music loaded in. Greatness.


Had my coffee and scone, but I had to get the hot kinda coffee. Too damn cold for that iced business, dang it. I don’t want to shiver for hours.


Happy Friday, ya’ll.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Thursday wrapup

Man, 6am feels like it was a long time ago.

My body's feeling it too, in the fatigue department and in the beating that it took from that run.


Georgina says I look like a young Johnny Cash. Interesting. Wish I had his pipes, that's for sure. My voice remains stuck in a pubescent nasal squeak most of the time. I've developed a little bit of lower range that helps when getting the kids' attention ("Whatever you're doing to make your sister screech needs to STOP right now!") at least.

Anyway, yeah, it's a compliment I'd say.

Better than that time someone told me I look like Mr. Bean.

"Thank you, thank you... what, me distracted? No, I'm just looking for a plate glass window to jump through."


Busy day at work, and it ended on an interesting note. Agency Sales Stupidhead, whom I will refer to from here on out as ASS, sent me instructions to start her new Ford spot tomorrow. With the holidays coming up we're on accelerated logs; tomorrow's log has been closed for DAYS.

ASS flaunts the schedule all the time. I refused to accommodate her a couple weeks back and it got me bitched out and hung up on. It did NOT get her spots on the air.

So this set of instructions rolled in at 4:30pm today, and right by my monitor is a brand new memo about deadlines and such. It's a fine line you've gotta walk, especially with a big client like Ford. So I asked my bosses what to do.

The BIG boss told me to give our log schedule to her and tell her we'd happily start her spot MONDAY (and that's IF we have spots in-house by then).

I typed up the email, which I managed to get sent just before I left.

ASS is going to flip out, but you know, my hands are tied. I mean, this wasn't my call. If the bosses had said, "Implement the instructions ASAP," I'd have done it.

Heh heh... could be an interesting Friday.


Took the appraisal/assessment test tonight. Did fairly well I think. No worse than a B I'd say.


Ah... tomorrow: Iced coffee and a scone.


My nephew Aaron started Taw Kwon Do today! Seems to have done okay too. I hope he enjoys it, really benefits a lot from it.


Tired. BB needs sleep.

And to stop referring to himself in the third person.

Almost Time for Liftoff...

Launch has been playing distorted audio for a couple of days now, so I’ve had to go with other music sources.

Yesterday I was on the iPod all day, which worked well since I was feeling anti-social.

Today I went with KBON, that little Cajun station.

That’s a good way to spend the day.

They just played Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater. That’s so cool.

Leaving for school in a few. Almost test time.

Have a good evening.

are you gonna be in my dreams tonight?

Ah, Thursday. Sure to be one busy-ass day.

I hopped out of bed after a night of dreaming about

(1) being bitten by a dog (I jumped back over the fence once I had a hammer just to hit the little bastard on the leg with it) and

(2) running

in order to start my day by... running!

It was 36 degrees out by my thermometer. I’ve got a lot to learn about what gear to use. How does one dress for running in this weather? As much as I hate being cold, I couldn’t stand the idea of being in the middle of a long run and being over-insulated. That never feels good. So I went with long shorts (that’s an odd phrase), long-sleeve Easton compression shirt under a long-sleeve t-shirt, and, uh, socks and shoes.

I hoped I’d exert myself enough to offset the cold and be fine.

I almost did.


Let me tell ya, when I started off I was running FAST! I was desperate to warm up. I must have looked like a Benny Hill skit sans “Yackety Sax.” A half mile in I thought I’d be okay, but running in such cold is still odd. For a long stretch I could feel the muscles and tendons and whatnot in my left hand with every footfall. God that’s strange.

I didn’t sweat much, of course, but the parts that did sweat got even colder. At first I tried to blow it off, tried to think about what an amazing machine the body is, and how it’s designed so well to cool itself during exertion. Then I began to wonder exactly why it’s so doggone important for my ass-crack to be cool.


I startled a few squirrels as they descended their trees for breakfast. And there’s something really bitchin’ about listening to Soundgarden’s “Into the Void” (yeah, the old Sabbath tune) as the sun emerges over the tree tops.


And it went well, stamina-wise. Six miles in 63:45. I know I slowed down a lot, and hell, I did the first mile in about 30 seconds.

I could have gone farther, but there simply wasn’t time. When I got home the whole family was up. THEBOY and I startled each other at the back door.


Temperature when I got home: 37.5 degrees.


I saw other joggers, none bundled less than I. One woman was in a full hooded sweat suit with a stocking cap over that. She looked like an Oompa Loompa. That’s not a judgment, just a fact.

She had on a lot of mascara for some reason, and that struck me as unnecessary. If I notice it as I jog past you, breathing through my mouth, wondering if the pain in my calf matters, eyes blurry from running into the frigid wind, it’s too much mascara.

See, now THAT was a judgment.


Tonight I’ve also got a test in appraisal/assessment, and I haven’t taken it seriously enough. I’m a bit burned out, and I’ve focused my energy on Saturday’s development presentation.


This weekend after the presentation I’ll be a raving hedonist. I ain’t doing JACK (save for running Sunday morning). I wish I could find someplayce to watch UFC 56 , but I know of no place that carries those particular PPV events.

And Sunday night, of course, is Paul McCartney. Oh yeah, all right… are you gonna be in my dreams tonight?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


We’re going to see Paul McCartney Sunday night, and man, I’m genuinely excited. That guy, singing that collection of songs… I’m going to just let myself go, just fully embrace everything I can that he throws at us.

Unless it’s “Biker Like An Icon.”


Heh heh… somebody’s put together a ringtone of “Unsung” by Helmet.


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Why does most of the spam I receive contain the name Jerry Forsyth? Am I missing something?


3pm and my motivation is shot all to hell.

Current music: “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney & Wings


Had a nice Thanksgiving potluck here. I can honestly say that everything I had was good. Hope it all plays nice in my stomach. “Ham, meet curry chicken. Stuffing, meet mysterious cold noodle dish.”


Might need a little coffee to put out that fire.

I’m doing SOMETHING really important

Current music: “The Beast in Me” by Johnny Cash


I work at a TV station. I have a badge. It lets me go wherever I want. So when I have things to do like dropping tapes off with the receptionist, I like to cut through the newsroom. Oh, I don’t have any BUSINESS being in there really. But it feels like really important stuff is going on back there, and I just like to walk through and pretend I’m doing SOMETHING really important (instead of just dropping off a dub of a Puerto Rico tourism spot).


Mysterio… familiar with this guy? A nemesis of Spider-man? Yeah, he’s got some sort of magical/conjuring powers or something. Not a guy I remember much, but THEBOY woke up this morning, grabbed a Spider-man book that was on his bed and immediately began asking me questions about him. In one picture Mysterio has created an illusion, and it looks like there are THREE of him standing there.

This was difficult to explain to THEBOY.

“So the one in the MIDDLE is a bad guy, but the others are good guys?”

No no… the others are imaginary.

“So are they holding good diamonds?”

What? No. I mean, they’re not holding anything. They’re… pretend. They’re not really there.

“What do they do to people?”

Nothing. They’re just there to fool Spider-man, make him chase the wrong Mysterio.

“But he was really the one in the middle. Spider-man caught him.”


“So did the others help Spider-man?”

Go eat your breakfast.


Current music: “Flight of Icarus” by Led Zeppelin


The holiday break is coming, and I need it. I enjoy school, but you know, I’ve been going non-stop for a good while now. I sat there with a textbook in my lap last night, and I could not do much that resembled studying. Got a big test tomorrow night, but you know… jeez, I’m tired.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

During the Final Moments of the Workday...

Current music: “Bandera” by Willie Nelson


Kelli got me a new iPod Shuffle gizmo, a TransPod. Can’t wait to try this little bugger out in the van. Cool!


Don we now our gay apparel

(Brian goes un-PC! So bold, so daring so… hey, I like the joke, ok. Lighten up.)


This business is rotting my soul.


Have a good evening.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Which founding member of the Justice League are you?

Which founding member of the Justice League are you?


You are Batman. In addition to a strong drive for justice, you are also have a keen sense of deduction. [Phooey. I don't like Batman in the slightest. Regular guy, no superhuman powers, dumb costume and a slightly androgynous sidekick. Every time THEBOY asks me what the Joker and Penguin "do to people," I have the damnedest time telling him. "Uh... chicanery? Hijinks? Stuff that looks like toys but it's really dangerous??"]

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In the process of getting over myself.

Current music: “Ever Fallen in Love?” by the Buzzcocks


A coworker told me I’m “looking dapper” today. Nice. I need a haircut though. I’ve got some big hair going on.

I read once where Pete Townshend was talking about the Who’s Live Aid appearance. He talked about what he was wearing, and said, “I looked handsome.”

(It was the best thing he had to say about their performance, in fact.)

It struck me as nervy and cool for him to describe himself that way.

I could stand some nerve and some cool. Working on not being so hard on my looks.

I’m in the process of getting over myself.


Current music: “Beat on the Brat” by the Ramones


There’s another Brian Briscoe ‘round these parts. I mean, there might be a few for all I know. Or an entire rugby team.

But there’s another in broadcasting/media. He’s a bigwig at Texas Motor Speedway. I believe he's on-air talent for their radio broadcasts.

And seeing as how I’m in television, and I mess around with a little bit of radio work on the side, once in a while I’ll bump into someone who tells me I’m not him. And I agree. Unless they're holding a check with that name on it that needs an account to nestle up in.

I know some folks who know both of us, of course. And Hood met him two weeks ago and told him in detail who I am and about the occasional head-scratching this causes.

Well, on my part anyway, as this guy had never heard of me.


Current music: “Strawberry Letter #23” by the Brothers Johnson. God I love this song. Did these guys get nearly big enough?


I’m told he’s thin and very tall. My cousin, in fact, came up to TMS recently and got a program with some stuff written by him inside. She sought out my Dad to ask if I’d written that stuff, since they know I dabble in some writing.


You deserve a break today. Or a Break, perhaps… you know, something conferred upon yer sweet lil’ head by the powers that be.

A lucky Break, whatever. Call it what you will. But if you’re stopping by here, then indeed, you deserve a Break. I think most every person I know could stand a Break of some sort.

So I will optimistically decree on behalf of the deity/fate/whimsical notion of your choice that you shall get your Break.

And Scarecrow shall get his brain.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Weekend by the Numbers

Since most of the notable moments thus far have been numerical, here's the rundown:

Grade on my latest development project: 95


How much it costs to feed the family lunch at Luby's on a Saturday since kids eat free and I get a veggie plate: $11-$12.


How many videos I'm editing for next week's presentation in development class: two


How far I ran this morning: Six miles.

That's a new best for me. My hip started barking at me immediately, and man, 70 degrees with no clouds is actually kind of a tough way to run. The sun can be intense.

I finished with NOTHING left. I thought I might go six miles and one step and puke.

No, the puking occurred later. Read on.


How long it took me to run my six miles: 57:30, which is so good I actually find it kinda fishy. What the heck? I had a decent pace, but I wasn't shooting to surpass a 10-minute mile.


What I weighed on our scale when I got home: 155

The fluid loss that occurs while I run is pretty strange to get used to.


Number of kids at Sierra's birthday party at Mountasia today: 12


Number of kids who puked up blue icing alll over the carpet: One.

That'd be THEGIRL. We think she just overdid it. I was away at the time she actually hurled, but I can say that she didn't seem bothered in the least.


Number of daddies in this house about to lie down for a nap: One.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Charlie worked at the coffee bar at Yahoo. Man those were the days… that stuff was free! We were a bunch of highly-caffeinated Yahoos back in the day.

He was a young guy, about 20 if that. Loved baseball, and claimed to be a player way, way down in the Indians system in rookie ball or something. A catcher if I recall, sidelined by a forearm injury. I didn’t press him for details. He talked a good game, made a good Asian Iced Espresso.

And one Friday while waiting for him to prepare my drink I mentioned that I had nothing to do that weekend.

“You wanna hang out?” he asked.

Uh… what?

“You wanna hang out tonight? Go to the West End or something?”

Damn. There I was, having made it quite clear that there was no way in hell I had a conflict that night, and Charlie wanted to hang out. So, with a shrug, I said sure.


Quittin’ time rolled around, and he said we’d leave as soon as his girlfriend showed up. Fine, fine. Yahoo had, they claimed, one of the fastest internet connections “in the world” in that building. I rarely lacked things to do to kill time.

But the minutes kept ticking by, and Girlfriend was nowhere to be seen. I tried not to be antsy, but hell, I was hungry. She was caught in traffic, or on the way, or she just called.

She showed up about an hour after my shift ended, if I recall. I was trying to remain game. We made our introductions, said some nice words and set out.

She sported the classic Pentecostal/non-denominational look, what with the faded, shin-length denim skirt, lack of makeup, and hair that I suppose had never been cut. She was pleasant enough.


We gravitated to this big building in the West End. I don’t know what it’s called, but if you’ve ever been there you probably know the one. It’s a few stories tall, got a number of shops tucked in it: a candy store, a funky antiques place, that kind of thing. Overpriced tourist claptrap, sure, but an okay place to walk around and kill a few minutes I guess.

Charlie wanted to hit the game room. Hmm. Okay. He got a bunch of coins (or tokens) and disappeared into the dark, noisy room with Girlfriend while I wandered around, a man completely out of his context. I was 32 years old. Frogger? Tempest? No, none of the old-school games I used to play were to be found. I walked around starting to finally accept that this had all been a mistake, a footnote in my life at best.

He finally wrapped up, and he and Girlfriend suggested we walk over to Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner. Fine.


Being one person sitting opposite those two at the table was uncomfortable, but what the heck—food was coming. I could hang in there.

Then he blurted out that Girlfriend was pregnant.

Awkward… “Hey, congratulations!” I managed to sputter.

Then he blurted out that he was in the process of joining the army.

Awkward again… “Well, great!” I said.

Unwed, hardly any money, kid coming, one headed off for parts unknown, dressed in olive drab duds…

We forged ahead.


The food took a long time to come, of course. And I say of course, because, well, as awkward as the whole evening had been, it just wouldn’t have been RIGHT, somehow, if things had zipped along and we’d been in and out of there in a reasonable amount of time, right? That’s just how it works.

So the longer we sat there, the longer I got to hear Charlie and Girlfriend talk breathlessly about their hopes, their future together. They talked about how Charlie was a man of faith, and had wanted to be a preacher before something changed his mind (what, I can’t recall). The kid was enthusiastic, charismatic… not a stretch to see him in that line of work.

Then the food came. The clouds did not part, the angels did not blow their trumpets, and no beam of light shone down upon my thankful head.

But Girlfriend asked, “Do you pray?”

Hoo boy.

Um… well SURE, sure… but not, uh…

“Would you lead us in a prayer?”

No no no. Ya’ll go ahead. Please.

Either you’re comfortable with this or you’re not, period. I am not. But at the very least, I can bow my head out of respect. And to avoid the eyes of all the people I feel must surely be watching.

“Dear Lord,” said Charlie, and you can fill in the rest of it with the usual stuff, I’d say.

To a point.

Yes, he thanked God for their time with me, sure. Flattering, a nice gesture, all that.

Then he apologized to God for masturbating.

“And please forgive all the whackin’ off…”

Oh YES he said it. He really said it. I started playing back the tape in my head, eyes shut tight, suddenly in Bizarro World as Charlie blessed my pasta dish with an apology for pleasuring himself.

I began to pray too: Dear Lord, take me NOW. Yes, kill me. Right here in the Spaghetti Warehouse. Just take me now if you would oh DEAR GOD.


The prayer eventually ended, and we had our meal without incident. The evening passed mostly without incident from there on out, save for the walk back to the car. Charlie bumped into someone, and as they walked away he started shouting, “F*ck me?? F*CK ME??? No, f*ck YOU! F*CK YOU!!”

I didn’t get a look at the person he bumped. It was crowded, and I was making a beeline for, well, anywhere else. Girlfriend restrained him, I kept walking, and that, my friends, was that.


In fact, it really WAS. I only saw Charlie once more after that. It rained the following Monday. I spotted him in the parking lot, jumping a puddle. He was not working at the coffee bar that day.

The next day a new guy was there, in fact. Word had it Charlie was in the army, headed off to boot camp.


This was maybe six months prior to 9/11. I wonder what happened to Charlie, Girlfriend, and the child they conceived.


Okay, Tarrant County College has done it again. Henry Gray played there yesterday, and I missed it. It’s only a couple miles from the house. Heck, it’s the place I jogged Sunday.

Earlier this year they had David “Honeyboy” Edwards out there, and I missed that too.

I’ve emailed their head of special events to see if there’s a mailing list or something I can get on.


The Smoking Gun says that evidence of widespread methamphetamine use in baseball emerged while they investigated the Raffy Palmeiro perjury issue. They questioned former Rangers trainer Danny Wheat, who said he once asked a player how many of the nine on the field were on “greenies” in a particular game. The answer: eight of nine.

Can this be real? I watch these games all the dang time. Speed users exhibit some pretty distinctive symptoms, and it doesn’t take special training to spot them. Heck, these guys give press conferences after the games. I’d think someone on speed would be pretty easy to pick out with a mic in their face. Something’s fishy here.


Better go. Happy Friday, ya’ll.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Do you need post-GED education?

I’m… looking forward to class tonight. My gosh. I mean… I’ve been looking forward to it for days. And hell, I may have to give an oral presentation tonight (if not, next week).


God... this business. If you looked at my breaks overnight, the sales pitches would break down like this:

Do you need post-GED education?
Would you like to be a trucker?
Would you like to drink Corona beer?
Did you get a DUI while driving your truck?
Do you need a bail bondsman due to your DUI?
Do you need a chiropractor due to the wreck you had when you got your DUI?
Do you need a lawyer who specializes in DUIs?
Would you like to call hot singles in your area, or would you like a Jumbo Jack?

There ya go.


Hmm… well, the belt had to be tightened a notch once I started working out. Now fastening it at that notch is barely sufficient, as it’s hanging kinda loosely. Shoot, I’m not going all Karen Carpenter on you guys. If you’d seen me at the Asia Buffet loading up at lunch you’d agree. But it’s clear that I’m currently burning more calories than I’m consuming. This is so bizarre.

And there’s only one notch left on the belt for me to go to, actually.


Thursday Thursday… we’ll make it.

Click Click Click

Sorry for all the links today… I don’t intend to just let my little forum become a crossroads for BB-directed web navigating.


Current music: “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers. Makes me want to dance like Charlie Brown.


Wow. Thirty years ago today the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. I do like the Gordon Lightfoot song, but I always assumed it was about some shipwreck from the 1800s or something. Had no idea this happened when I was seven.

Of course, I haven’t heard the song in a decade or more I guess, so maybe there are date-specific lyrics I’ve since forgotten, like one about the dying crew giving thanks that they’ll no longer have to listen to the Starland Vocal Band.


I must say I was pretty appalled by what I read in the Ft. Worth Weekly about prison rape. I’ve emailed them for some clarification on the stats (40% of the rapes occur in Texas, but we’re a huge state with a lot of prisons; that rate might not actually be disproportionate, right?).

Regardless, it’s mind-numbing that even the TDCJ training manual states matter-of-factly that three of 10 first-time prisoners get raped within 48 hours of going behind bars. For more info.


I probably enjoyed this a lot more than I should have.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Operators Are Standing By

Does this sound familiar? You put on your Ropers and your Wranglers, head on over to the honkytonk and start doing shots.

You think you did about eleventy-eight of them, and in fact, you could swear you danced your butt off with some fine young filly. Not only that, but you think she came back to your doublewide for private boot scoot boogie lessons.

Except she’s not there in the morning, and the only evidence you have is this hatful of foggy memories and the word “queer” written across your bare chest in blood-red lipstick.

(In fact, you hope you were on your back when this mystery woman did the writing, seeing as how when you lay on your side you’ve got man-boobies…)

You, partner, may have R.E.D. (Redneck Erectile Disfunction).

It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it happens more frequently than you think. Hey, a life of flippin’ channels during 96% of your spare time doesn’t do much for your stamina. And stuffing your pasty-white ass into those britches and drowning your sorrows with grain alcohol doesn’t exactly help matters south of the border, so to speak.

Well have no fear, cuz the south’s gonna do it again, brother!

What you need to do is order our new CD, Bluegrass for Blue Balls. What we did was record a host of bluegrass standards, as performed by Texas prison inmates hopped up on state-issue diet pills and homemade Tang wine. This CD features 54 classics, recorded at an average tempo of 340 beats per minute. You put on a CD like this once you get her back to the Ponderosa and you’ll be bumpin’ along so fast neither one of you will have any idea whether the pony ever hit the stable!

And at an average length of 58 seconds, these songs are perfectly timed for the average cowboy’s ride time. Get back in the saddle—order now! Call 1-800-TWANG-ME.


And that, my friends, is the kind of crap one comes up with while jogging before the sun comes up.


It went well at least. I did 5.25 miles in 54:40. The one-mile track at the college is nice. Not too many folks out there so early, and it changes elevation just enough to get your attention but not to make you hang it up.


Got home, hit the shower and went to wake up THEBOY. He was lethargic, looked bad. He said he felt a little seasick (his word for nauseous), the poor kid. He asked for juice, and I brought him a barf bowl with it. Kelli and I started rearranging our schedules, and she got him some dry toast.

Five minutes after I called my boss, THEBOY bopped out of his room and announced that the toast had made him feel better, said he was ready for school.

It’s pushing 3pm and no one’s called, so I guess he did just fine.


Another BACS staffer has departed, a real cornerstone of the business. His absence is gonna hurt.


Have a good afternoon, partner.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hot Wax

I’m probably a bit excessive in my hyper-vigilance where the welfare of my kids is concerned. I’ve always got an eye on one or both of them, weighing what they’re doing, trying to pick out the potential dangers. It’s an incredible distraction, and in some ways I feel like I’ll never be able to fully concentrate on anything until they’re older.

I can’t catch everything though.

When THEBOY'S getting out of the bath or shower, sometimes I have candles lit. If he’s slow to get out when I tell him, he’ll speed up if he knows he gets to blow out a candle or two.

Last night, in one quick motion, he got too close to the candle and blew too hard. Yeah, it was like it was in slow motion in my peripheral vision.

He blew hot wax all over his face, including his right eye. To me it looked like he’d all but put the flame out with his eye.

He’s blown out candles 1000 times, but on the 1001st time I didn’t watch closely enough and he nearly did something terrible.

It hurt a lot, obviously. As far as I could tell, though, no wax got IN the eye itself. No discoloration, nothing odd looking. But he certainly had red marks on his face.

I felt bad for him, of course. I feel guilty, like I made some bad call in letting a kid of nearly five blow out a candle. It’s always when you’re not right on top of what they’re doing that they nearly kill themselves.

He was fine this morning.


But we’d had a good evening to that point. At the Northeast Tarrant County College campus one can see rabbits at dusk. To groundskeepers I’m sure they’re a nuisance, or at best no more special than squirrels.

I thought THEBOY would like to see them, though, so we took a stroll around campus. Total rabbits: 14. I let THEBOY lead the way as we crept past bushes and around corners. They’re not that shy, and he loved seeing them. I imagine they’re fed by students too, as one of the little buggers approached us, coming within about 10 feet.


Trouble goes wherever Ugueth Urbina is. Wasn’t it last season that his mother was kidnapped? Now he’s being charged with attempted murder.

He’s a good pitcher for sure. He was a Ranger for a while, and I thought at times he pitched brilliantly. But he’s been through several teams since then, and I’d imagine it’s at least partly because of all the baggage that goes with this guy.


THEGIRL'S been in a great mood lately. Keep that kid healthy and she just sparkles with personality. Sunday all she wanted to do was sit on my lap or entertain me. All smiles and laughs… good stuff.


Running is going fairly well. I failed to reach six miles Sunday like I’d hoped. But I did five miles in 53:40, which is a time I can live with. It’s a much better pace than I thought I was running, actually.


Work beckons.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Halloween Party Pic

That's me with Joie. I was Torgo, of course, from the one and only Manos: the Hands of Fate.

She was a character from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Coffee Priest/The Same Anyway

I am the coffee priest in that holy place, the coffee shop. Soft music plays as I wait for the time at which I may begin the preparation of my own caffeinated Eucharist.

We’re all here for one purpose: To bow down and worship before the Coffee God. The drink allows us to commune; the caffeine is his blood.

Then, my cue:

“Venti iced coffee unsweetened for Ryan!”

Slowly, methodically I take this holy liquid to the altar. I place one napkin on the counter and place my lid upon it; I dare not allow any part of the coffee vessel to be contaminated by some unclean surface. I add half and half, some Equal, then grab a straw.

As I remove it from its plastic, I grip it approximately one inch from the end from which I intend to drink. If my fingers have touched something impure, I do not want the part of the straw I touch to go into the holy liquid. I also do not want that part to touch my lips. The impurity will be between my lips and the holy liquid, caught between Heaven and Earth in some sort of plastic purgatory.

I replace the lid, insert the straw and withdraw two more napkins to add to the one on the counter, a perfect holy trinity for cleaning up for the next person.

One sip and my communion is complete. Any buzz a sinner like me gets from consuming the holy liquid is merely a side benefit.


Had lunch at Central Market, at the little eatery in there.

Weedheads are generally a pleasant enough bunch to be around, even if they’re quite misguided regarding the appeal of scents like patchouli and clothes made out of rough-hewn natural fibers like hemp or potato sacks.

The guy who cooked my vegetarian curry stir-fry had, I believe, genuine Princess Leia cinnamon roll curls peeking out from under his hat.

The hat, in fact, seemed to be made of some sort of wicker. It may have been a welcome mat that had been recycled.


The food tasted great, but man, when you order vegetarian stuff there, well, they basically drag your lunch through a cabbage patch. Wow.


When I worked at the record store back in the 80s, a man came in who looked different from any other customer I’d had. He looked country for sure, what with the boots and jeans and all. But he didn’t look like the FFA sort we usually had around there. He was a big man, and his skin was dark and rough. He wore his sideburns long and pointed, a style not often seen in 1986. He had a unique and quite overpowering smell, and he asked me for Cajun music. He spoke with a rural Louisiana accent.

I pointed him to our meager selection of cassettes. He didn’t spend long browsing them.

I got tied up in something else. I looked up and he was at the counter with a Norteno (Mexican) music cassette. Accordions, matching outfits. This was the kind of thing we didn’t move much of at all.

“You sure this is what you want?” I asked him.

“Yeah, it’s the same anyway,” he said.


That reminds me of something that happened during my stint as a roadie for Randy Pelt and Gold Rush. The band got a rare chance to set up early and have a full-blown rehearsal in a venue. This club featured conjunto bands most nights.

The band ran through a Cajun song (the fiddler could sing in French). A synth played the accordion parts.

And the owner of the club, a Mexican man, asked one of the crew what that was, saying it was the best thing he’d heard them play. “Could you understand what he was saying?” he asked.


Happy Friday, amigos.

Yee Haw

I am currently in Ft. Worth, Texas.

I am a lunch commute away from the stockyards.

I’m from Texas, in fact.

I’m not exactly a redneck, but I’m no metrosexual.

I don’t have the accent I once did. All the English, linguistics, and broadcasting classes I’ve taken did a solid job of making me conscious of how I speak, for better or for worse.

My forebears come from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas…

I’ve been in 1000 honkytonks (and still can’t dance worth a damn... and I don't really care).

I listen to Merle Haggard just about every day.

So why do I get shit from people every time I wear boots? “You’d get beat up in Detroit.”

I’m not gonna go all “The South’s Gonna Do It Again” on them.

I’m fully within my context here, dressing according to my culture and heritage… why is this such a foreign idea?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

With Cheese!

Okay, not a bad day here, not bad at all. Started the registration process at school today. On the one hand, it’s still a bit antiquated at Texas Wesleyan, with forms and such to fill out. On the other hand, hell, there just aren’t that many grad/counseling students, so it’s not like it’s much of a hassle anyway.

My classes next semester:

Multicultural/Cross-Cultural Counseling


Research Methods and Program Evaluations.

The former sounds cool, and the latter sounds like more stats-intensive stuff. Ugh.

Can’t take the sexuality class next semester, unfortunately. But I’ll get around to it eventually.


I’ll have the same prof for both classes next semester. Dr. Crook also teaches the appraisal/assessment class I’m in now, and I’ve gotta say I like him a lot. In another teacher’s hands this class could just be murder. He’s no blow-off, but he is fair, and he does as much as one can do, I suspect, with that particular topic.


One of these semesters I’ll have to take a class taught by the head of the program, Dr. Ellison. He’s a nice man, fun to be around and all, but I’m told his classes are TOUGH. In fact, in one of them you’re expected to read the DSM IV. That’s the mental health industry bible. It’s just shy of 1000 pages, and it is the be-all, end-all reference for professionals. Part of me thinks I should buy it over the Christmas holidays and get started even though it’ll be at least summer before I’m in an Ellison class.


I had to eat in the campus cafeteria today, which… you know, for an experience right out of 1972, isn’t all that bad. Heck, I think I actually had Shake ‘n’ Bake chicken there today.

But I’ve been there twice, and each time was sort of confusing.

Last time, as you may recall, they tried to charge me the teacher rate. Ha ha, Yeah yeah, I’ve got grey hair.

This time they scanned my ID, then just stared blankly at me when I asked whether I pay before or after I eat.

“Your card went through just fine.”

Uh… I’m supposed to eat for free?

“Looks like it.”

But I don’t live on campus or anything…

“Oh, hold on.” (Scans it again). “Okay, I see. $5.75.”

I offered my debit card.

“Oh no, we don’t take those. Just cash.”

Dang! Okay, plan B… I’ll hit Subway… thanks anyway…

“No, go ahead.” (Points at the food). “On us.”

Uh… okay.

So at this point I’m not 100% clear if I’m even supposed to pay when I eat there.


By the way, if I didn't want chicken, I could have had "nachos--with cheese!" (their words). They made cheese sound like a bonafide bonus they were throwing in with the aforementioned nachos.


Ordered a Pugwash CD from NotLame today. Looking forward to hearing more of those tuneful… Irishmen? Can’t recall offhand exactly what spot across the pond they call home.

Check out some of the song samples though. Catchy, smart pop.


Have a good evening.


Uncanny coincidence… Just as I’m checking out “Here Kitty Kitty,” the video by the “band” Litterbox, Launch plays “Kitty Kitty” by Paul “Wine” Jones.


Oreo caught and ate a mouse on Halloween. I mean… boom, gone. That cat amazes me sometimes.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pee Like the Wind!

Halloween is meant for five-year-olds, simple as that. This wasn’t just a walk around the neighborhood for him—it was a full blown sortie. THEBOY'S finally old enough to fully grasp it, apply some logic. He knew that a well-decorated house tended to mean good treats. He’d see other trick/treaters and want to go where they’ve been. We did a complete sweep of three streets, and he scored a lot of loot.

THEGIRL didn’t go after all. Recovering from a respiratory bug as she is, we decided it’d be best to keep her in. She’s too young to understand anyway.

Oddly, none came to the house. That’s a first. Our street is kind of dark, and I guess they stuck to other streets.


I’m registered for the half marathon now!

Houston, January… I’ve clearly lost my mind…


Current music: “Jackie Wilson Said” by Van Morrison.

Let it all hang out.


Parenting teaches one to improvise, let me tell you. And I’d like to cast an apology out into cyberspace, into the universe, into the hearts and minds of whoever stops by. I am here to admit my sin to you, to ask for your forgiveness.

I’m doing this because I’m certainly not going to do any of the above to the actual owner of the house whose yard THEBOY peed in last night.

We’d gotten all the way down our street, which is a long walk when you’re 44 inches tall. That’s when he announced that he needed to go.

I’d broken parenting rule #1: Before going anywhere, ask if they need to go to the toilet. In fact, insist if you must. Berate them. Instill a fear in them of just how bad it will be if they get to wherever you’re going and suddenly NEED TO PEE.

They can sort it out in therapy later. Most importantly, do not put yourself in a bind.

Or else, see, you might find yourself behind a tree in the yard of a house where no one answered the doorbell, hiking up your son’s SCREAM outfit, holding his pants partly down (as opposed to the “drop to the ankles” approach he usually uses) and urging him to pee, pee like the wind!

And he did. I was very clear: Don’t do this. That is, don’t do THIS, unless some grownup, who will most likely be me, is telling you it’s okay. Or at least doing a good job of watching for cars and telling you everything’s GOING to be okay.