Sunday, December 31, 2006

On the Business of Butt Kicking

It's so flippin' late... this has been a great vacation, but we keep staying up later and later... at least our kids oblige us by sleeping in a bit.


I actually had to set the alarm for 9am to give myself time to wake up and eat before Krav Maga this morning.

And it was a good class. I'm pumped that:

1. I finally learned how to do a proper Thai clinch. In fact,, the guy I trained with said mine was "murder," because these boney forearms of mine dug in under his jawbone and hurt like hell. Jeez, you mean there's some advantage to having skinny arms? Wow.

2. THEBOY surprised me after class with a gen-you-wine takedown when I wasn't expecting it. That was no gift; he locked his ankles behind mine and BOOM, down I went. Again, I don't know whether to ground him or raise his allowance, heh heh.

3. They're talking seriously about introducing a kids martial arts program at the school, a Krav/Haganah hybrid. Yahoo! I've cooled a bit on the Kung Fu place we visited last week. We're due to visit a good BJJ school this week, but honestly, the location is quite inconvenient.


I'm tired... a few quick notes on this evening, when I watched UFC 66 at the Fox & Hound with a bunch of Krav students:

The service... whoa, it was terrible. I waited an hour AFTER the fights to even get my check. If I'd not had this damn conscience of mine I'd have just walked out without paying.

Michael Bisping looked good, as did Andrei Arlovsky. Watching an unconscious Chris Leben flop around like a trout on a pier was pretty enjoyable. Seeing Forrest Griffin get whipped by Keith Jardine was a heartbreaker though.

And then there was the headliner... well, it was clear that Chuck Liddell was inside Tito's head. And sure enough, Chuck made Tito look like a Girl Scout. It was nearly stopped in the first round. Tito stuck around long enough to make it a little bit interesting, but more serious ground/pound in the third led to a ref stoppage. Tito didn't complain.


And I don't go back to work until Wednesday. Sweeeeet.

Good night.


Juke is coming. I hope.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Operation 24 Hour Freedom

MOBB met her mother-in-law in Waxahachie yesterday afternoon to arrange the drop-off: The kids were going to spend the night in Corsicana.

We aimed to take advantage of this rare opportunity to do some "couple" things together for a while. We held out some hope that the kids would be so stellar that another night would get tacked on. No dice. Though the inlaws insist the kids have been good, by 7pm they were on the phone with MOBB, lobbying to make the pickup time an hour or so earlier.


Turns out it's actually going to be later than we'd originally agreed on, as the weather's bad and I will now make the drive all the way to Corsicana to pick them up.


But we certainly did take advantage of our momentary freedom. First up: nap.

I had a fine couple hours of lying in bed, drifting in and out of consciousness. Sweeeeeet.


At 7pm we headed to one of the Krav Maga schools for a holiday get-together. It was nice to meet some new folks, chat with students I know, meet instructors from other schools...

There were door prizes too. I won a t-shirt, though I had Kelli swap it out with another person, a guy who'd won a pink "baby doll" Krav shirt. Worked out pretty well I'd say.


After that we stood, pretty much unnoticed, in the dark, crowded, smokey doorway of the Fox & Hound, trying to figure out if we'd ever get seated, or if we should seat ourselves or what... we gave up and hit Razzoo's.


I like that place, actually, though I'd weigh 300 pounds if I went there regularly. Cajun cuisine isn't exactly healthy. And I hear so much good music in there! I usually have or at least recognize what they're playing.


After dinner we went to the movies to see the new Casino Royale. I like the new Bond quite a bit, sure. He's more human in a lot of ways. Still slick and brilliant and tough, but also vulnerable to a point. The story was a little too poker-centric for me, but still, it was a fine way to spend 90 minutes or so.


It was maybe one a.m. when we departed. To our left, three teens smarted off, unnoticed or un-cared about, at some guy leaving in front of us.

All I did was look up at them, and one said something--I don't know what--to me. I started muttering, "Don't do it, Junior, don't do it..."

MOBB said, "You got your knife?"

I said, "Yes, but I don't want to go to PRISON!"

Heh heh.

I glared at them a bit, and they did an about face to turn and watch us proceed to the van. Nothing else happened.

THIS is how shit gets started. One o'clock in the morning and some dipshit kids are at the theater on a Thursday night, desperately spewing attitude everywhere they can. Still, the intimidation factor was about a zero.


Man this weather sucks. Ya'll have a good Friday.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

MRI, Marital, Martial

Had a voicemail from the neurologist this morning when I turned on the cellphone. Seems he'd seen the partial MRI I did last week, and wanted to chat about it.

I must admit that it made my heart race a bit. Neurologist, MRI, results... had to remind myself we were just talking about a sore leg here.

I called him, and he started by telling me there's "something" in my leg, and "it's not a tumor" (go ahead, make a Schwarzenegger joke). He goes on to say it's a cyst, and that I've got a torn lower calf muscle as well.

So... that'd explain the pain I've had for a year.

I'm being referred to an orthopedic doctor. All of this sounds like a possible surgery to me, and that doesn't thrill me. We'll see what my options are.


I've got so much doggone time off this week... sweet!


Results from the sonogram on my guts are due Friday or so. I'm still gonna say I bet this is my gallbladder.

I come from a long line of remarkable men, and you know, it doesn't thrill me that my body's acting like such a creampuff.


Went to Krav tonight. Well, I showed up for the bag/cardio class, as it was Kelli's turn to take Krav while I watched the kids.

No one else was around, so I got to spar with the instructor for a while.

I can say it: I love sparring. I mean to do this as much as I can. I also hope to, you know, someday be good at it. I would say sparring with David was much like sparring with Whit. I worked on my breathing, worked on better arm position, and a sweet little kick I mean to incorporate.

Then we did a little ground work. I got to practice sprawling to stuff a takedown, and I learned a couple takedowns myself. It was great, gotta say.


The kids will be spending one night (maybe more) with their grandparents later this week. Really looking forward to that.


THEBOY and I visited a good, local Kung Fu school today. I realized that he's got a bit of my mercurial personality. It appears to be good training, it's close, tuition's reasonable, the instructors have a good rapport with kids... and still you get a variety of answers regarding what THEBOY thinks of it. As it currently stands, he's willing to try a couple classes there next week. Works for me.

I have to make a point not to just shove what I love down the poor kid's throat. I mean, on the one hand I've meant to create a martial arts-friendly model at home. We work out, and this is how we do it. On the other hand, well, if he doesn't want to do it, so be it. He's only six. Maybe in a year or three. Or maybe never. I have to remind myself of that.


Better hit the sheets soon. Be good.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Have Yourself a Rasta Christmas and a Hardcore New Year

BB's current therapy: "Right Brigade," as sung by Bad Brains on my bitchin' new DVD, Live at CBGB 1982. MOBB got me this, among other cool things, for Christmas.

It's a damn good DVD. Pure chaos, and the Brains are in fine form (as if you had to ask).


THEBOY finallly emerged from bed around 10am. He peered at the gifts and said, "He's been here." Then he paused and said, "No lumps of coal."



It was a great Christmas for the kids. They scored gift after great gift. THEGIRL spent all day in the dress-up stuff my folks got her, and THEBOY got so much stuff... air hockey, bad guy figures, Transformers, videos... wow.


I didn't feel worth a flip all day. The vast quantities of sweets and different foods I've eaten probably weren't the best approach for a guy with some sort of ongoing gut malaise. But screw it.


The drive home from Corsicana last night was bad. It was a driving rain, and we hit standing water and hydroplaned briefly several times. We passed accidents, saw folks driving like idiots. MOBB didn't see me shoot the bird at one guy. He didn't see it either.


This Bad Brains show... man, the place just blew a fuse and all the lights went out. The band played on though.


We are taking THEBOY to try some Kung Fu classes, hopefully starting tomorrow.


"Hey, somebody get this dude--he's bleedin'," says HR from the stage. Chaos, this show. Pure chaos.

Christmas Morning

It's 9:30 or so on Christmas morning, and I am the only one up.


MOBB, THEGIRL and THEBOY are all still out.

In fact, I'm only up because the doorbell rang at 8am. That'd be the postman with our DVD of the Who concert THEBOY and I attended not long ago.

(Bitchin'--since when does the post office deliver on Christmas??)


So I got to drink some coffee and read the paper in silence. What a great Christmas!


Christmas Eve in Corsicana went pretty well. We showed up just in time for a great lunch. I got to nap. MOBB didn't, though, as her bed companion, THEGIRL, was in full-blown squirm mode.

The candlelight service at the church was nice, I imagine. I mean, I spent half of it in the foyer, following THEGIRL around as she blew off some of her boundless energy.

And the following celebration at cousin Tonja's house was niiiice. Mostly. I won't much go into how THEGIRL jacked with a candle as I yelled "NO NO NO NO" at her, got burned, then spat in my face (yep) as I chastised her. I will say I wanted to give her a beating she'll talk about until she's 30.

(But I didn't).


MOBB says she's going to make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. I don't think I've ever had such a thing. But I'm willing to give it the ol' college try.

I'm hungry though. If she doesn't get up soon I'm going to have cookies for breakfast.

First, time to see if a little more coffee will put out that fire.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This Is the Day

This is the day when my son asked for Cocoa Puffs for breakfast, and I gave them to him.

This is the day when busting my ass in Krav Maga wasn’t enough.

This is the day when the instructor sensed this restlessness of mine.

This is the day when I threw a 60-year-old man to the mat over and over.

This is the day when I didn’t feel like being criticized.

This is the day when I felt like getting high. There, I said it.

This is the day before the day before Christmas.

This is the day when I wanted to be very male.

This is the day that the Lord has made.” (Finish the lyric if you can. I love old gospel songs)

This is the day when our sweet, perpetually late friend showed up early.

This is the day when I watched early 80s home movies and noticed how many gags were based on beer. (Lots)

This is the day a buddy wondered if I’d like to go to North Carolina to compete in a martial arts tourney.

This is the day when Rangers super-prospect John Danks got traded to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy, whose numbers don’t seem all that great.

This is the day when I walked into my bedroom and found THEGIRL on my bed, arms spread wide, dancing along to the Wiggles. It was glorious.

Friday, December 22, 2006


In the last 24 hours I've been bombarded with electromagnetic and sound waves. Yesterday I had an MRI for this recurring calf problem. What I didn't know about getting an MRI:
1. It takes hours. Wow. And I didn't finish... after two hours we were only halfway done. I finish the imaging next week.
2. It's loud. It's kind of like lying on the street as a diesel truck drives over you. Or so I'm guessing. They give you headphones to block out the noise and provide you with music to kill the time.
Heh heh... yeah, so the guy asked me what station I wanted to listen to. "Uh... uh... er... um... ESPN."
"We don't get that one here."
"Damn... okay, Jack FM."
So there I was, on my back, unable to move, with commercial radio being piped into my head.
(Remind me to hit Wikipedia later to research the specifics of the Chinese water torture)
Jack was... okay. I could do without hearing "Sharp Dressed Man" and the handful of foppy synth-pop songs they sprinkled in. But largely I could stand to what they played (not that I can recall any titles now).
Results of the MRI will be in week after next.
And this morning was the sonogram. The tech assured me that I am not pregnant.
But they were checking for gallstones, along with the general appearance of several other organs. It's a much simpler, more comfortable procedure than the MRI, let me tell you. A little KY on the abdomen, then they jam the remote control from an old Betamax into your guts and you get to watch TV for a bit.
I must say that every organ of mine, save for the liver, was distorted, blotchy, and clearly needed to be removed.
So after being bombarded by all these rays (and let's not forget the x-ray last week) I'm waiting to see if I transform into a superhero when I get angry. THE INCREDIBLE DORK!
Or maybe my already unearthly nacho consuming powers will increase.
I wrote a paper not long ago on internet porn "addiction" for school. Here's a good piece on reg'lar ol' sex addiction on Slate: It covers some of the same ground my paper did.
Looks like Toland my have to change the photo on his myspace page:
Okay, so these things can reach 60 feet, have tentacles, eat smaller squid (ew!), have one eye, live in the uncharted depths of the sea... I'm quite willing to accept that yes, these are monsters. I mean... if that doesn't get you classified as a monster, what does?
After getting my sonogram today I headed straight for Starbucks, as the test had required that I not eat beforehand.
In line ahead of me was a young woman I know. We're not friends or anything, but she's a clerk at the video store.
She was extremely intoxicated. It was 10am on a Friday, and there she was, barely able to stand, eyelids droopy, speech slurred... She changed/screwed up her order over and over, and it took two Starbucks clerks to get it all straight. She dropped her change, of course, when they handed it to her. With her was a young teenager, a girl of maybe 14. I'd guess it's her sister.
I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and guess heroin is her drug of choice. I've always noticed her long sleeves, her skin pallor, sunken eyes... just a guess though.
The younger girl seemed to project an air of embarrassment, sure.
As I left I realized that they'd left ahead of me, and I wondered if they were driving. I don't think the younger one's old enough to drive. But I couldn't see them anywhere.
I got in the van, pulled out, and as I waited at the light to go under the freeway, I saw them in my rear view mirror. Hoo boy. This woman could barely stand, yet she was behind the wheel of a car. Ah crap. I was actually worried that she'd nod off behind the wheel and coast into my rear bumper.
The light changed and we moved. I hit the ramp for the freeway, and they did too. When I last saw them they were doing about 30 on the freeway, way back in my mirror. I hope they're okay.
Ya'll have a good Friday.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


1. Where were you 1 hour ago?

Dropping off a video at the store


2. Who will be your next kiss?
One of my kids or my wife, unless Salma Hayek comes bursting through the door and announces she must have me this instant.

3. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
Yes. A sticky note with my phone password on it.

4. When is the last time you went to the mall?
I was at Katy Mills mall not all that long ago.


5. Are you wearing socks right now?
Yup. Two pairs. It's a personal eccentricity.

6. When was the last time you went out of the state?
I guess that'd be March, when Hood and I went to Phoenix.

7. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?

8. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Orange juice

9. What are you wearing right now?
Blue pants, tan shirt, leather jacket (it's cold in here)

10. Have you been in a car wash? ever? 

Has anyone NOT been in a car wash? How about this one: Have you ever nearly died in a car wash? Why... yes!

11. Last food you ate?
Waffles, banana, yogurt

12. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
I think that'd be Whit last night

13. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?

14. Do you have any pets?
1 immortal cat

15. what was the last sporting even u watched? 
I think some UFC stuff last week

16. What is your favorite class?
I'm between semesters. But I thought multi-cultural counseling was pretty bitchin'.

17. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
In bed.

18. What is the last thing you purchased online?
No idea... probably a textbook

21. Are you a girl/boy?
No, I'm a man.

22. Last play you saw?
It's been quite a while. Probably something MOBB was in, like "Babes in Outer Space." I'm not kidding.

23. What are your plans for tomorrow?
Get the sonogram at 9am to see if I have gallstones. Then... who knows? When you roll with BB you live life on the edge, baby.

24. Who is the last person you commented on myspace?
Probably some classmates of mine

25. Ever go to camp?
As in, like, summer camp? For kids? No. Been camping here and there though.

26. Were you on the Honor Roll in school?
Not consistently, but sometimes

27.What do you KNOW about the future?
I won't be at work next week. Sweeeeeeet.

28. Are you wearing perfume or cologne?

30. Where is your best friend located?
At this moment I'm not exactly sure, what with all the holiday travels and all.

31. Do you have a tan?
I'm a slightly-browner-than-average cracker

32. How old do you want to be when you have kids?
I have kids. But I'd like to have a capuchin... come on Santa, hope you got my letter...

33. Do you collect anything?
Oh... does my clos et ful l of MST videos count?

34. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?
Been a few years... it was here in Ft. Worth. Was doing 76 in a 60. Oops.

35. What kind of sheets do you have?
Uh... maroon ones.

36. How do you like your drinks?
Within arm's reach

37. Do You Like Hot Sauce?
It's as vital to me as my blood

38. Last time you showered?


39. Do you like someone?
I love everybody

40. What is your mood?
A bit bored

41. Are You Someone's Best Friend?
I am everyone's best friend. Except you, you and you.

42. What's the last TV show you watched?
Something where an Englishman was stranded in Africa. Desperate for a drink, he squeezed some fluid out of some elephant droppings. Let me just say for the record that I would happily choose death over drinking from pachyderm poop.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Curses of Getting Older

BB's current therapy: "Unmeaningless" by Doug Powell.
One of the curses of getting older is the overnight trip to the toilet. Perhaps you understand.
You're lying there, blissfully resting in the arms of Morpheus, when suddenly your eyes pop open and you've gotta get UP and stumble through the dark to the toilet. You know the route well.
Maybe as you go you're nodding off, or trying to at least. You're working to recapture some fleeting image from a dream, or to perhaps just trying to engage your brain as little as possible in order to ease the return to sleep. God help you if, at this point, you find yourself singing "Kokomo." It'll be stuck in your head, and you might as well put on some coffee and fetch the paper.
My policy is to avoid looking at the clock while making these trips. I don't even want to start doing the math, figuring out how much time is left until the alarm goes off.
(The alarm goes "off"... wow, we have a strange way of saying some things..)
So I got up, did my business, and on the way back told myself not to look at the clock.
I didn't need to, as it was ringing. Ah shit. I thought I'd be going back to sleep.
I've had stomach distress since Sunday. I saw the doc this morning, and he put me on Nexium in case it's just acid reflux. I'm not on board with that particular diagnosis. But I also got bloodwork to test for a nasty bacterium, and I get a sonogram at 9am Friday to look for gallstones. Personally, I'm guessing gallstones on this.
And coincidentally, tomorrow at 8:15 is when I have my appointment with the neurologist to check this calf for nerve issues.
I basically just need to check this ol' body into a repair shop.
Someone gave me a nice Christmas card with a small snowman attached. I'd planned to eat it, but as it turns out it's actually a candle.
Be good.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All You Got

Day three of this damnable stomach thing. Nothing like Barfathon 2006 was, okay. Just mild indigestion. I function pretty well, even sneaking in a KM workout last night.


But one sure gets tired of the guts being in a state of general displeasure.




8:29am and I'm in the van, driving to work, thinking about beauty. And the windows are up, so no one can hear me singing: "I'm sure you had your chance… you had your chance, and all you got was a sweet life…"


It's a drug, that song.




Christmas has snuck up on me for sure. It's been almost all MOBB this year. That is, she's done the decorating (both inside and out), bought the gifts and, like this morning, saved my ass when I needed a gift for some office wingding I knew nothing about.




8:30am and the van is parked, but I'm not walking into the office like I should. I'm still singing: "The tarmac flows as planes touch down. They want to know: Do you still get high?"


In Heaven I'll be able to sing.




Rumble grumble rumble. These stupid guts of mine.




Reading a book to THEBOY last night, I simply could not say the line, "What would a witch want with a winch in a swamp?" He and I laughed and laughed as I tried over and over, sounding like Elmer Fudd every time.




Hey, got to my Myspace page and check out the bitchin' graphic Motorhead left in my comments…








Appreciate the beauty around you.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cookie Time

Once upon a time MOBB was on a mission.

She wanted to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

So over the course of many evenings, over many weeks, she experimented. Yes, she went through recipe after recipe, varying her oven temperatures, ingredients, cooking materials...

I got to be the lab rat, so to speak.

Finally, she hit upon a recipe that prompted me to ask her to make no more changes. THIS was a cookie I could stand to eat for the rest of my life.

She made some tonight.

Workout schmorkout, it's time to pig out.


Yesterday in Krav I got my first ever real takedown (chest pumps up, BB blows on his knuckles...)

Yeah, we were doing this choke escape, and the instructor told us to "keep fighting," which means to wing it with some combatives.

So I found my opponent in the perfect position. One hand under the tricep, one behind his head and BOOM.

It worked! For the first time in my life, someone who didn't expect to hit the mat actually DID hit the mat!

And the instructor walked by and barked, "NO takedowns!"


But... heh heh...


The next batch of cookies will have peanut butter AND chocolate chips.

I plan to eat so many I hallucinate.


I am STILL sore from the Bas Rutten workout.

I'm gonna get me some gris gris from my New Orleans kinfolk and put the hoodoo on that man.


I'm told my home county now has one of those big honkin' statues. What, there's one of Sam Houston near the city of Huntsville, right? Now there's one of Stephen F. Austin, I believe, in Angleton.

That's fine and all, but when in the hell will we get a statue of Muddy Waters?


The calf improves... five days from my appointment with the neurologist, it's steadily improving. But I'll keep the appointment,, get this thing checked out thoroughly.


Almost cookie time. Ya'll be good. Mmmmm.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


One time in the late 80s Toland and I had this crazy idea: We were both single, and we'd heard about somewhere in this big, magical world were clubs where boys picked up girls.

We thought we would go to a dance club, meet some girls, and have sex. With the girls.

You can go ahead and stop laughing.

So he lived in Houston, and I was running late. I grabbed a bag to pack, started grabbing CDs, toiletries, and ended up sort of a mess of stuffed pockets and hard-to-carry stuff.

We met at his apartment and proceeded to the club. Awful dance music, just the type of stuff we hated. We struck all the way out. We sat there for hours, unable to make eye contact with anyone, unable to summon any nerve, just two utter losers in the middle of a pipe dream, way out of our context.

We got back to his apartment at about two a.m. Dejected, un-laid, frustrated... I went to his bathroom to change, and saw that there in my shirt pocket was my toothbrush.

Yes, I'd spent several hours in a dance club, desperate to find a girl, while carrying my toothbrush RIGHT THERE in plain view.

Have I ever mentioned that I wasn't very successful with the ladies?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dear Bas Rutten: I Hate You I Hate You I Hate You, You're Not My Real Father!

THEBOY had a great birthday:


I woke him up to "Birthday" by the Beatles.


He had Pop Tarts for breakfast (mmm… sugar…)


His class sang happy birthday to him, and they had cupcakes (mmm… more sugar…).


Santa arrived at the school via helicopter. And Mrs. Claus arrived in a separate helicopter (bitchin' sure, but man, do they need marriage counseling?)


THEBOY had McDonald's for supper (mmm… deep-fried sugar…).


He got to see a magic show at the library (birthday+magic+free=greatness).


He played with some expensive-ass new toys.


He got to stay up until 10pm.


So as I tucked him in, asked him what he thought of his birthday:


"It seemed just like a regular day."


So now he's grounded until he's 18.




Thank you to everyone who sent kind wishes. There were tons!




MOBB returned to Krav Maga for the first time in a while. It's been an injury-plagued year for her, what with the dislocated shoulder and broken wrist.


And yeah, I can't blame her for being a little apprehensive about returning. New instructors, many new students, and probably some concern as to how the wrist would do.


So the kids and I stopped by after the magic show to lend her some support. The class was just wrapping up.


She surprised me by suggesting that I stay for the next class. I was in regular clothes, though not awful choices for working out at least.




She took the kids home and I stayed.


Remember how I said not long ago that I'd wanted more exertion after a workout, that I'd wanted to feel that great fatigue that comes with truly busting one's butt?






I am a fool.




See, it's not a class per se that I attended. It's just that after some Krav classes they'll ask if anyone wants to stick around and "do Bas."


They've got a Bas Rutten workout tape (yep, a cassette). It's 28 minutes of non-stop shadowboxing, crunches, pushups, lunges, squat/jumps, knees, etc.


Halfway through you realize you've lost your mind.




It's constant motion, one of those deals where the rest period is 30 seconds of crunches.


20 minutes in I decided there was no shame in puking if I had to. It was much like round four of the most recent BB/Whit sparring. I had nothing left. This time, however, I reached down and kept moving.


And I didn't hurl.




So when the last exercise comes, you think you've made it. Bas explains, in that charmingly sadistic accent of his, that we're to do 10 squat/jumps. That is, you squat down, then jump up, knees to your chest. Fine, fine.


Only he then explains that he doesn't just mean 10. Oh no.


He means that when he says "one," you do one.


And when he says "two," you do two.


On up to 10.


Heh heh. Heh.


But okay, so be it. At that point we'd all done maybe 150 pushups, countless squats, mount climbers… it was murder.


And when he said "ten," I went after it, really not knowing what was left in the tank.


Because I am insane, I did eleven.




It was kind of like wrapping up the half marathon; I didn't stop at the finish line. I went about 10 more feet.




My abs were already killer-sore from ground defenses we'd worked on Monday night.




And after the Bas workout, we had an impromptu Q&A/demonstration on takedowns and throws. They told me I'm quite good at falling. Though that's an important skill, I'd like to develop more skills on the other side of the equation. You know, the side where get to be the thrower, not the throwee.




Now that I'm getting genuine Krav training, you know, I see a lot of chinks in my armor, gaps in my training. Fine fine, I'll fix all that.




Friday Friday… ya'll have a good one.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Birthday to THEBOY!

THEBOY turns six today!


Yeah, we had his birthday party some weeks ago. What with his birthday being so close to Christmas and all, we discovered that parties held long about NOW don't have many attendees. We decided we'd start throwing his birthday parties earlier, maybe even before Thanksgiving if we have to, in order to succeed.


But today's the real deal. And what a day: Santa was scheduled to arrive at his school (via helicopter!) this morning. Tonight we'll hit McDonald's, and at 7pm the library by our house has a free magic show. He will just eat that up.




UFC has supposedly lured heavyweight Mirko "Cro Cop" Filopovic from Pride, and I find this pretty doggone exciting. Tim Sylvia really needs some competition. I fully anticipate watching Sylvia take a nap in the ring one day soon.


Hey, his fights have been putting US to sleep lately… it's about time someone returned the favor. That someone is Cro Cop.




Good fights last night, in fact. I predicted the outcomes of all the fights in the broadcast with 100% accuracy, thankyewverymuch (are you paying attention, G-Par?).


Karo Parisyan, again, went to war. I like watching that guy fight. And the only thing disappointing about watching Diego Sanchez trounce Joe Riggs was that it didn't last longer.


"Fight was stopped at 1:44 in the first round due Riggs sleeping face-first on the canvas, which is not allowed during the match…"


(Okay, been to the well too many times with the sleeping/fight jokes? Sorry)




My buddy Christy has lent me a DVD of Fight Girls. Coooooool.




All that stuff on my list of things to do over the holidays? I've started none of it. I'm mostly vegging out when I'm not working out. Oh, I'm reading Cracked by Dr. Drew Pinsky again. It's just as gripping as I remembered, though I now understand the parlance a bit better.




And miracle of miracles, I earned two As this semester! Let me tell you—advanced abnormal psych was HARD. Hardest class I've had in the program so far I think.


Next semester I'll be in marriage/family therapy and a children's therapy class.




So the Rangers have signed 2003 Cy Young winner Eric Gagne, holder of the record for most consecutive saves (what, 84 I think?). He was THE MAN back then.


But I guess it really took a toll on him, as elbow and back problems have limited him to very few games since then. I keep hearing 16… is that right? 16 games since then?




And they've signed Kenny Lofton, who can still hit and still steal a base. The deal initially struck me as a stop-gap to get us to NEXT off season, when local boy Vernon Wells will be a free agent. Now the Jays have offered Wells a huge extension, so I'm curious to see how this'll play out.




Whoa… Okay, so the Red Sox just signed Matsuzaka. Fine fine.


But I see that they've also just signed Julio Lugo. Does he still airmail half his throws to first base right into the stands? Jeez, this guy was virtually run out of Houston on a rail not so many years ago. He had a case of the yips that'd make Chuck Knoblauch giggle.




Better scoot.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lethargic, tired, unmotivated...

I finished KM class last night with plenty in the tank, just ready for a flurry of activity to finish the workout. I wanted that great exertion and fatigue that come with really testing oneself, you know? It's the kind of hyperactive sort of feeling that often led me to jog.
But class was over, and I had to take THEBOY home and put him to bed.
This morning I pretty much feel the opposite way: Lethargic, tired, unmotivated...
Tomorrow THEBOY turns six. We had his birthday party some weeks ago. The closer a birthday party is to Christmas, the worse the attendance. So we've decided we'll take a crack at having his party as much as a month early each year to prevent that. Maybe even before Thanksgiving. It worked out pretty well this time.
My grades aren't in yet, damn it. MOBB's are though. With only ("only," heh heh) her thesis remaining, she's got a 4.0 as a grad student.
The calf isn't great, isn't bad. I see a neurologist for this on the 21st. The current thought is that I've got a nerve problem between two muscles.
Ya'll have a good one.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Poem for the Holiday Break

'Twas a heck of a time in the fall of '06
When we all had abnormal psych
We had to sort out this stressful mess:
Day jobs by day, night classes by night
"Read the DSM-IV for the quiz every week--
If not you'll fail, I implore ya,"
Said the prof at the start as we tried to tell apart
Transvestitism and gender dysphoria
Some students read it, and some did not
Though we nearly succumbed to psychosis
After one awful test, when we all confessed
We were lost on the golfer's diagnosis
The final is done, and our papers are in
And we all hope we did a good job
So if his grades suffice, we'll all play nice
And won't be a torch-wielding mob
Forgive the obscurity... 'twas written for some classmates.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


It feels so utterly doggone strange to have no schoolwork hanging over my head. I’ve found myself wanting to sleep much more than I expected. I guess it’s part of the decompression process.


I put on some pads last night, gave THEBOY his boxing gloves, and did some sparring with him.

“You’d better put on your cup,” he said.

No no no, kid… really, let’s avoid the crotch strikes.


So yeah, that was hours before he got in a tussle with his sister and head-butted her.

Hoo boy.

Anyone who knows my son knows he’s a sweet, conscientious kid. Really. But I can’t ignore the fact that lately when he’s upset he’s getting more physical than he once did.

And I’m the guy teaching him to do these things.

The failure on my part is, I believe, not emphasizing guidelines for using these tools as much as I should. And we DO discuss this. We do. But I guess I need to do more.

Random violence has just been a part of my life since before I was his age. If you know me, you know I’m a peaceful man, a guy who tries to be funny, tries to get along with everyone.

And you also know that the damnedest things happen to me. They just do. I haven’t had to be physical with anyone in decades (schoolyard stuff). But again and again stuff happens. Heck, three times this year alone I’ve been in confrontations with strangers that nearly turned physical.

The fact that I’ve not had to fight in decades is a good indicator to me that, despite how trouble follows me around, I’ve been pretty adept at using the grey matter to get out of scrapes.

But any one of these situations could have required me to defend myself, and after one that came awfully close this spring, I decided I was unwise to have no tools. And, as Whit pointed out, I would benefit greatly from the confidence and calm demeanor that come with being a skilled martial artist.


And, I realized, I’m doing a disservice to my son by not preparing him.


What I want THEBOY to get from his training is the attitude that:

I can punch, elbow, kick, knee, and subdue an attacker on the ground if necessary.
I am so confident my skills will give me a good chance to prevail that this piddly playground stuff that happens isn’t worth bothering with most of the time. These kids have no idea how big a mistake it’d be to jack with me.


We live our dreams through our children. Our fears too.


And hell yes, I mean to teach THEGIRL how to do it too. Some families are into softball, some are into twirling… our family, hopefully, will be into joint locks.


So I’m thinking of putting Juke on a blog.


A statistician joke:

A woman in the hospital gives birth to twins. The family calls the pastor to come baptize the babies.

Only the father instructs the pastor to baptize just one of the babies.

“But why?” asks the pastor.

“The other one is for control.”


The man who told me that laughed out loud and slapped me on the back. I found that behavior far funnier than the joke itself.


Ya’ll be good.

Friday, December 08, 2006


A different sort of slant on a survey. This time it's not a list of FAVORITE stuff, but a list of HATED stuff...


FRUIT: Canteloupe.

CANDY: Whoa... candy corn is pretty heinous

BEVERAGE: Probably Sprite. Who in the heck likes this vaguely lemony, syrupy crap that you can still taste and feel three hours later?


TOWN/CITY: Oh... none really, though Danbury, TX holds a special place in my mind...

MOVIE: Any disease of the week TV flick

ASPECT OF MYSPACE: Myspace is awfully damn clunky and bug-ridden. A full third of my clicks result in errors. And navigation isn't particularly smooth or well thought-out.

ASPECT OF INSTANT MESSENGER: Not enough people on it!

ANIMAL: Possums kinda piss me off

INSECT: Fleas. We had an infestation in our sunroom some years back. This was an isolated room with no animals or humans spending significant time in there, no carpet... it was a concrete floor, one brick wall, and three walls that were mostly glass. Why in the WORLD did they set up camp in there?

BIRD: Crows.

SEASON: Winter. Being cold is not funny.

AGE OF KIDS: Whoa, hey now, I'm a parent. Ask me again when one of 'em hits puberty.


DRIVING: Rainy weather, and some pseudo-bubba driving his Ford F-350 is doing 80 on the freeway and can't be bothered to take one pinky off the steering wheel to make his random lane-changes from 10 feet behind people's rear bumpers the LEAST bit clear by, say, using the signal on that ozone chewing piece of shit. That end of the gene pool is shallow but wide, awful damn wide.

TALKING ON THE PHONE: There are a ton to choose from, but let me say that I'm stunned at how quickly people are to, say, interrupt a meal with their family to take a phone call. If I'm eating supper with my kids or tucking them in or something, I won't answer the phone. There is no reason to. What I'm currently doing is more important. The phone can wait.

WATCHING TV OR MOVIES: I... I... don't get me started about TV.

EATING IN RESTAURANTS: Now that my kids are old enough to sort of behave I'm fine. I DID really hate the days when most of my time was spent walking angry todders/infants up and down the sidewalks in front of Tarrant County's finer eating establishments.

GOING THROUGH DRIVE-THRUS: They f*ck up your order. Really. Most of the time, it's wrong.

YOU'RE AT THE MALL: The number of cart vendors who approach you, aggressively hawking sunglasses or nail buffers or some other crap.

SLEEPING: Generally I sleep well, though last night I slept in a bad position and really jacked up this iffy shoulder of mine. Dang.

YOU'RE AT THE BEACH: Glass in the sand. People can be such idiots.

YOU'RE AT THE GROCERY: The people who take their 50% of the aisle outta the middle. "Say lady... any chance I can get AROUND you while you're comparing costs on store brand versus Reynolds brand aluminum foil?"

YOU'RE ON A DATE: When she says, "You're only 22? My last boyfriend was 40--you're such a baby!" Of course, I stuck around and we've been married for 13 years.

COOKING OR BAKING: Just that I suck at it.

WHAT HOUSEHOLD CHORE DO YOU HATE THE MOST? Anything to do with clogged toilets.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE THE ABSOLUTE WORST WAY TO DIE? Watching Everybody Loves Raymond in my boxer shorts, eating sour cream 'n' onion Pringles.

WHAT'S THE MOST ANNOYING HABIT IN OTHERS? Talking too much and listening too little.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT? Probably this cloud of comfortable oblivion I float around on.

WHAT FASHION TREND (PAST OR PRESENT): You know, I still say the French pedicure is just awful looking. I mean... your damn toenails have grown too long so you paint the crap that should've been trimmed off? It always makes the feet look like claws.

WHAT POPULAR SONG (PAST OR PRESENT): Look, if I stood in the middle of a CD store using a fire hose, pretty much anything touched by a drop of water would piss me off.

WORST OR MOST HATED PICKUP LINE: "Hey, why don't ya sit on my lap and we'll talk about the first thing that pops up?"


MOST IRRITATING THING ABOUT YOUR CAR: The battery connectors that don't tighten enough. But I bought new ones and will fix this weekend.

TO BE COMPLETELY STEREOTYPICAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT GIRLS? Eh.... I can't stoop to that, though I am convinced that for some reason they actually do operate on chocolate.

TO BE COMPLETELY STEREOTYPICAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT GUYS? Their GUYNESS. Holy crap, just this year I've been exposed to guys who chest-thump (ie want to fight) over NOTHING. Or how about the ENGAGED jerk I had lunch with in Phoenix who nevertheless hit on a girl at the next table ("You have the most incredible eyes...")...?

WHAT'S ANNOYING YOU TODAY? This calf injury and some strange tingling in my neck.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


THEBOY had a fine day, not having to stop down and whip anyone's ass.

We're quite thankful.


Cup Story #1:

I had a couple of my cups in the shower yesterday. You know... cups. Athletic protection. I'd rinsed them in the hot shower and left them to dry a bit. My fault that I forgot them when we chucked the kids in the shower later.

Because, see, I came in to dry him off after the shower, and he was spitting in the sink. Spitting.

I asked what he was doing.

"I feel kinda funny. I don't think we should have put those penis things on our faces."



I know kids are just kids, okay. I don't expect them to be perfect. But THEBOY sprung up out of his seat during dinner so many times that I actually told him I was about to duct tape him to the chair.

I was serious.

THEGIRL took that opportunity to bark at him, "Sit DOWN Bubba!"


Let em just say that I have no particular beef against the man called Rob Zombie.

But I do want to say that every time I see footage of him, he's persistently scratching something deep inside his beard. I find this a bit disturbing.


I'm watching TV, heh heh. I'm wasting time.

Yep, I plan to do lots of this for the next five weeks.


Cup Story #2:

I learned today that if you take your (not quite) six-year-old son aside and, guy to guy, explain that the thing you're wearing is called a "cup," and that it's for extra protection for doing things like, say, martial arts... well, that kid will immediately punch you in the crotch.

That boy is a loose cannon.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

BB Is Alive

My friends and family probably think I've gone all Ted Kaczynski for not emailing, calling, or blogging much. They're not far from being right.


At this moment it's Tuesday night, I think. I've just printed the last of my work due this semester. I'm tired, my vision is blurry, and I have no idea whether anything I write here (or wrote on the group counseling final, for that matter) makes sense.


And MOBB had TWO big exams today. Two. She had a Latin exam, and she took her orals. Yep.

For 90 minutes her profs prodded her to share insight on, say, the portrayal of women in the writing of St. Augustine.

It's pass/fail.

She passed.




Lots of change at my Krav Maga school. I could write a book about the last four months, but really, the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. There's a community out there that, if you screw up, attacks you quite viciously. If you don't screw up, well, they're pretty much gonna do the same thing to you too.

But I worked out at the grand re-opening last night, and was really pleased with the class. It kicked my butt.


Speaking of butt kicking, THEBOY got in a tussle at school today. Ah man, some kid, while rough-housing, found it amusing to grab THEBOY's shirt at the sleeve and collar and stretch it out.

THEBOY told the kid to knock it off. When he didn't, THEBOY:

(A) Punched him in the nose

(B) Elbowed him in the cheek

(C) Burst into tears when the other kid started crying

Ah crap.

I have got to instill in him that we settle these things with words and our brains and the help of the teachers before gettin' all medieval.


The story of Earl is coming, I swear. It's taken on a life of its own again lately.


Ever find that you've been listening to the dishwasher run for an hour and you realize that the dishes in it were already clean?


Sleepy. Face-first into the pillow I go.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bleerily I Go Into That Snowy Night...

If anything I post tonight makes sense it'll be an accident.


I'm bleery-eyed, wired up from five hours of working on one of my finals. It's been a good challenge, really a... wholly appropriate sort of thing to do to counseling students at this stage of the program. Five hours into it I'm about 40% done. Oy.


THEBOY was home yesterday and today, and will be home tomorrow. He tested positive for strep this morning. For a kid with such a no-no illness (the nurse intercepted him at school today and sent him back home), he's acting so... normal. He plays, runs, makes funny voices, eats whatever he wants... I mean, I'm glad he's not bedridden with fever or anything, but dude... THIS is a sick kid?


It's been a week full of drama. I'm not going to post about it. Some of you (Whit, Amanda, Geoff, Toland) know about it already. If you're interested let me know, but I'm so sick of it all I'm likely to send the shortest summary I can.


I had to haul THEBOY around way too much in this snowy crap today. Sleet, freezing rain, strangely large snow... I drove the point home to THEBOY several times today: The road has ice, I'm cold, this stuff is wet, it stings when it hits my face and my kids get sick...

And that's when MOBB called me from the SMU campus, telling me how wonderful it was. Man. She sounded positively jubilant.

In some ways we're very different people.


BB's current therapy: "Shake 'Em On Down" by Bukka White




Night night.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Pox

A pox upon all those authors of children's books who insist upon using the word "gasped." Have you tried to say that word lately? That is, have you tried to read it to a child and make it sound at least somewhat intelligible?
It's in a lot of kids' books for some reason.
Things for BB to do during the break between semesters:
1. Listen to CDs. There's are big stacks in my study, and there are many I haven't even spun once.
2. Work on cardio. Sparring with Whit underscored that the stamina I'm so proud of has begun to slip since I'm not running regularly anymore.
3. Run? The leg is improving through physical therapy. It'd be nice if I could get in a running routine again, and maybe take a stab at the Cowtown in Ft. Worth in February.
4. Prepare for green belt test (see numbers 2 and 3, above)
5. Learn some Chen Taiji
6. Read the parts of the DSM-IV that I should have read this semester but didn't.
7. Re-finish the end tables
8. Sand/paint the iron bed frame
9. Put together this year's family video. (As a bonus I may throw in footage of the latest round of BB/Whit sparring, aka "BB the Human Punching Bag")
10. Take some naps
My paper is done. My homework for tomorrow is done.
So in the next eight days I need to do the two take-home finals. One final push to get through the semester.
I wonder if I'm kidding myself during those moments when I hope to maybe earn an A in advanced abnormal psych.
The CD player in the van has stopped working. Ugh.
Jeez, have I ever posted the story of Earl? You know, the guy in the wheel chair I almost maimed that time? I must have... right? I'll poke around. It's a classic, and if I haven't posted about it before, I aim to soon.
Be good.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our Tour of Texas Gas Station Toilets

As I write this it’s Saturday night, and THEBOY and I are in Corsicana, worn out from lots of travel over this holiday. I should be crashing, but you know… I’m a man with some compulsions.

(Will post sometime tomorrow, when I can get online)


Good trip, I’ve gotta say. Wednesday night I messed around and started packing too late. It was probably 12:30 when I got to bed, so 5:30am came rather early.

I picked up THEBOY in Corsicana, and off we went.


On the one hand, the drive wasn’t as bad traffic-wise as I expected. On the other, the drive was still worse than usual somehow. It just seemed to take a lot out of me. We arrived around 1:15pm I think.

Part of this could be that THEBOY has discovered his new superpower, and it’s peeing. He goes and goes and goes. Our whole holiday could also be called, say, Our Tour of Texas Gas Station Toilets. We stopped in a number of unsavory places that the boy griped about, including a truck stop bathroom (“Somebody wrote on the walls!” he said) and a bush behind a Red Robin. Sometimes the pickins are slim, kid.

Various family members have theorized as to exactly what’s going on with the little bugger. Let’s see… not complaining of pain/burning, and can go 60-90 minutes without a toilet trip if he’s distracted. And he told me, “If you ask me if I need to pee it makes me need to pee.”

It’s in his head. He told me recently that someone explained to him that the things we get rid of in the bathroom aren’t good for us or something. He’s just got it lodged in his brain that the first second he feels anything he’s gotta go all Code Yellow and make a beeline for the peeline.

He’ll get over it.


Thanksgiving with the Dad and Charlene in Angleton was good. Good grub, good company. Nephew and Niece and THEBOY played together pretty well, gotta say.

We hit the beach yesterday. THEBOY wanted to search for seashells. Surfside isn’t exactly replete with beautiful specimens, so my father took some down there and laid them out specifically for the kids to find. He threw in some “treasure” (pennies and such), and it was a big hit, really a perfect activity for them. Throw in a bit of feeding the seagulls and you’ve got a rather ideal afternoon at the beach.


Hung out with La Familia Haish for a good chunk of the afternoon before heading back to Dad’s house.

All you blog snoopers better watch it now… Amanda’s set up with blog stats.


Stayed up late with Dad watching boxing and some K-1 kickboxing on TV. It was just like the old days. When nothing else was on TV we could always count on killing time with most any fight we could find.


This morning THEBOY and I headed up to Katy to see Whit and his boy. We had a good afternoon, with some sparring and some lunch to keep us busy. The boys played together pretty nicely.


I’ve had six more months of training since I last sparred with Whit. I’m pleased to say I’ve improved a bit.


The drive back was, again, a bit of a beating. We didn’t really catch any traffic snarls, but it just seemed like a long, long stretch between Houston and Corsicana.


And we’re now back in Hurst, glad to be home. Hope ya’ll had a good holiday too.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One More Before Hitting the Road

This is likely to be the last post for many days. I mean, maybe I'll get a wild hair and a chance to post from the road, okay, but if it doesn't happen just... be strong.


So I've got just tons of school-related stuff to do before the end of the semester: Two take-home exams and some abnormal psych homework that'll take a couple hours easily.

I had a paper to do, but I found time in the last 24 hours to devote to wrapping it up, and it's DONE. That helps, as I expected it'd take all or most of the trip to Angleton to finish, writing piecemeal as I could find time. So having finished it helps.

The take-home finals are no cake walks. One is pretty standard stuff, a very reasonable assessment of what we've learned over the course of the semester.

The other is 41 pages long, minimum. I'm not kidding. After it's all hand-written out (as the prof instructed us), it could easily be in the 50-60 page range.

This not meant to come off as whining. I don't think it's fair to sign up for something and then whine about it. I don't do it in Krav Maga, and I don't do it in my grad classes. It's what the instructor thinks will benefit us, so I'll do it.


On that note... I hope to only address this once, EVER.

I like my Sensei. I get great training for a reasonable price. The school is close to home, the workout is good, and I like the people there. What he teaches us is quite practical, it's fun to learn, and I aim to stay there just as long as he can stand the sight of my face.

I understand that the man has his detractors, some of whom I'm even friendly with.

You don't choose to train there.

I do.

Please respect my decision and stop trying to lure me into debates about the politics of martials arts. I trust my judgment, period.

And this isn't just directed at one person; the number of people I have fairly regular contact with who want to go into all this cannot even be counted on one hand.

I think we can still get along just fine, but I am done discussing this.


Which brings me to something else: I have a new approach to life. Call it a motto, a philosophy, an epiphany... whatever. But I realized today that I can handle most any situation in life by remembering five simple words:

What would Johnny Cash do?


If you wanna read my paper ("Problematic Use of Internet Pornography and Cybersex") just let me know. Anyone? Anyone?



Gotta go have me some dinner. Ya'll take care. Have a great, safe holiday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

nawt eempressed

Looks like I'll remain at my current job for the foreseeable future, as the other opportunity has fallen through (again). They have opted to withdraw the posting and hire no one. They will divide that job's duties among existing staff.
So I have perhaps set some sort of world record: I couldn't even get hired for a job for which I was the only candidate.
(And the manager who called me did confirm that she'd interviewed no one else)
I'm not all that upset.
Sunday THEBOY woke up with serious bedhead. I explained to him that I had some important information about being a guy to share with him: When you wake up with messed up hair, you wear a hat.
So we went into his room to find a hat. He's got any number of baseball caps floating around at any time, but we couldn't find any.
Then he said, "I've got that hat."
He was pointing to a huge sombrero.
I must admit that I was briefly tempted to tell him that yes, he should wear that sombrero to Dickey's Barbecue with us for lunch.
But I just couldn't do that to the kid.
Development is amazing, just amazing. THEGIRL is now in a period of explosive language growth. She surprises me every day with some new word or phrase.
She woke me up at 3:30am recently, calling for me from her room. I stumbled down the hall and found her standing beside her bed.
"Iwanlaydownwithyou," she said to me over and over. She'd glance over her shoulder, giving her bed, which is almost uninhabitable due to the sheer number of stuffed animals she keeps on it, a look of obvious fear.
"Are you scared? Too scary?" I asked.
She'd shake her head no, then repeat "Iwanlaydownwithyou."
So she slept with us that night.
Kelli and the kids will leave for Corsicana tomorrow. After work I plan to squeeze in as many martial arts classes as I can. Thursday morning I'll leave early, swing through Corsicana to get THEBOY, and we'll be on our way to Angleton. Oughta be a good trip.
I've planned out all of my final projects for the semester, and best I can figure it, the only time I'll have to write this paper will be while I'm in Angleton. Hmm.
The paper is on Internet sex addiction, by the way. I've found some interesting, quality research on it. Is this actually an addiction? An offshoot of obsessive-compulsive disorder? A sexual paraphilia?
One factoid suggested that most people consider online "cheating" (that is, cybersex by way of chat rooms mostly) to be just as much a violation of trust as real cheating. I'm not sure I would.
What do you think?
PT for the calf goes well. I'm actually seeing some improvement. I should have started this long ago. I'm hopeful that I can jog again, and if I'd done it earlier perhaps I'd have been well enough to train for the half-marathon in January. But maybe I can make the Cowtown in Ft. Worth.
The Rangers have signed Frank Catalanotto, a move I like. The guy played here, what, 2000-2002 maybe? Speedy IF/OF/Util guy who could roll right outta bed and go three for five.
MOBB's glad to see him back, but for entirely different reasons.
I was glad to hear that George St. Pierre whupped Matt Hughes. Oh, Hughes comes off as a bit of a pompous jerk, but compared to some actual meatheads in the sport he's pretty tolerable.
Now I entertain MOBB by walking around the house and saying in my best bad French accent, "Ah am nawt eempressed by yor performahns."
Happy Tuesday. Turkey Day's a-comin'.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Survey, aka Damn You Canned Potato Chips!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was your first thought?
"Whoa... eye boogers."


2. When�s the next time you will have sex?
Why do surveys always throw in one or two inappropriate questions?


3. What�s a word that rhymes with �DUCK�? I can damn sure tell you it ain't "Fuqua."


4. Favorite planet? Ask me again after I visit a couple more

5.Who is the 4th person on your missed call list?
My sister


6. What is your favorite ring on your phone?
I enjoy "vibrate" a little too much.


7. What shirt are you wearing?
A red one


8. What were you doing 20 minutes ago?
Super duper top secret work stuff


9. Name the brand of shoes you�re currently wearing? GBX

10. Bright or Dark Room?
Eh... I'm probably a pinch more comfotable in a dark room


11. What do you think about the person who posted this survey? It is a pleasure to be on the short list of people she doesn't hate.

12. If you�re in a room with two beds, which one do you sleep?
The one farther from the door


13. What were you doing at exactly midnight last night? Sleeping

14. What was your last text message you received on your mobile?
"No, ed" from my sister.


15. How do you like your eggs?
With salsa at the very least


16. What�s a word/phrase that you say a lot? "Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit." Okay, so I don't really.

17. Who told you he/she loved you last? My wife I think


18. Last furry thing you touched? Our cat, Oreo the Immortal

19. How many Drugs have you done in the last three days?
benadryl�..i guess that�s just one


20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? None

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
38 is not bad


22. Your worst enemy? Pringles. Damn you canned potato chips! Forget Lays--the ones I really can't eat just one of are Pringles.

23. What wallpaper do you have on your desktop? La Familia Briscoe posing for a shot wearing our Jade Mountain t-shirts


24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "I'm going to the mailbox. Do you need anything from downstairs?"

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly? See, having a million bucks actually GIVES you the ability to fly. It's true.


26. Do you like someone? Oddly, I like plenty of folks. It's what separates me from serial killers.

27. The last song you listened to? "Woman" by Wolfmother


28. If the last person you spoke to was getting shot, what would you do? Bring a Kevlar vest

29. If you could punch 1 person in the face, who would it be? The guy who stole my wife's purse. Or Tom Green. They may actually be one/the same


30. What is the closest object to your left foot?
My shoe 

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Who, Us?

"Don't do this to me," I told MOBB when she called yesterday morning, saying she'd found half-price tickets to the Who show.

The show was about 12 hours from starting.

And she suggested I take THEBOY.


We've always joked with him, saying he'd "seen" them in August of 2000 in Dallas. That is, MOBB and I went to see them. She was five months pregnant.

I'd seen them in '89 at the Astrodome. They were fleshed out with extra musicians, including crazy-good drummer Simon Phillips. It was good, but not quite the full-blown Who experience I was after.

In 2000, from the first chords of opener "I Can't Explain," it was clear they weren't just screwing around. It was a terrific show.

And THEBOY kicked the whole time.


He's grown up listening to them, and even as a toddler would scream along with "Won't Get Fooled Again," nailing the timing after the synthesizer bit, little fists in the air.

I started to say no. No it's too much money, no he's too young...

But I got to thinking that they may never tour again, and when he's 12 or 18 or something he might really hate knowing how close he came to seeing them but didn't, you know?

So I bit the bullet.


MOBB got him these huge, fluorescent green earmuffs that cut out about 30dB. He was plumb tickled to wear them.

(In fact, he speaks very quietly when wearing them. We may have stumbled onto something really useful here)


We decided to ride the train in. Lots of folks in Who regalia were on the train, and we soon found ourselves talking to a long-haired, very pleasant young man who was seeing them for the first time.


We got there maybe midway through the Pretenders' set, me in my Tommy Tommy Tommy (from the musical) shirt and the boy wearing those... things.

There's really only so much sittin' down time one's going to get from a five-year-old, so I thought we'd spend some time wandering the concourse before the Who came on. We got some popcorn and a soda. THEBOY crept up a ramp to listen to Hynde et al, who sounded pretty good.

Lo and behold, another father with a son wearing earmuffs walked by. This kid looked a little younger than THEBOY.


So we took our seats, and HOO BOY--they were floor seats, 13 rows from the man himself, Pete Townshend! As THEBOY munched and took in the sights, I pointed out the roadies, and explained that long ago I'd had a couple jobs like that.


Me: "The lights are dimming. The Who will start in just a minute!"

THEBOY: "I need to go to the bathroom."


I could just hear the veins in my cerebrum bursting as I said, "I TOLD you not to drink so much soda! Look, can you just make it through one song?"

Before he could answer, Townshend bashed out those three distinctive chords, again, to open to the show with "I Can't Explain."

Whoa ho ho ho... here we go again.

I picked up THEBOY, who was






He took in the flashing lights, the visuals, the thumping volume, and the sheer HUGENESS that accompanied the occasion of seeing Pete and Roger, two musicians he refers to by those first names like he's known them his whole life (oh wait, he HAS).

THEBOY screamed, clapped, sang along, bobbed his head, and even flashed little devil horns with his hands.


As the song ended and the band began "The Seeker," he asked, "Okay, NOW can we go to the bathroom?"



The band featured Pino Palladino on bass, subbing for not-so-long deceased John Entwistle, as well as Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar and John "Rabbit" Bundrick's tech playing keys. I didn't catch the man's name, but he stepped in when Bundrick had to return home to be with his sick wife.

And like in 2000, they weren't just screwing around. Despite the great fistfuls of BIG songs, they played maybe 10 new songs that actually held up well. People sang along to them, and though I didn't just fall in love with them, they did convince me that I've gotta buy the new CD.

(Oh, I didn't need much convincin' anyway)

It was a very meaty, very muscular sound they brought to Dallas. I tried to put a finger on just how to describe it. They weren't quite the nimble, juggernaut-style ensemble they'd been in '00. They were beefier if anything, and soon were startlingly loud, just having a balls-out good time. It was like those old ads... what, for Maxell cassettes maybe? Where the man in the chair is being blown back by the sound coming from his speakers?

And what's a Who show without Pete getting pissed off at the audience anyway? He asked the front rows, "Who here wants a pick?" Hands shot up all over the auditorium, and he said, "Exactly. Everyone wants a pick. It's like crumbs to savages." He went on to thank those people for paying so much money to sit there, but made it clear he'd had enough of being bugged for picks.

Largely they were in good spirits though, and for a couple of old Brits I found it easy to understand what they said.


THEBOY was a trooper. He started to get tired after a while. Hell, the show started about the time he usually hits the sheets. He listened to everything, often being carried by me. I had him stand on his chair some, but the ushers kept busting us for that.

(Oddly, though the vibe on the concourse was decidedly laid back, on the floor it was a bit rougher, as security and ushers were constantly going to and fro, shining flashlights in people's faces and escorting them out.)

THEBOY asked to leave once, and I asked if he could stay one more song. Sure.

But after that they went into a string of the big songs, and despite my repeated queries he was quite clear about NOT leaving.

We made it through the end of the regular set, which wrapped up, of course, with "...Fooled."

The band even tinkered with the song a bit, breathing a little fresh air into one of classic rock's biggest warhorses. I never get tired of the song, but I didn't mind what they did to it either.

We'd made it about 90 minutes. It was time to leave.


As we walked back to the train, I watched THEBOY closely. When kids are tired like that, they certainly look and act a bit like they're sick, and the popcorn and soda were certainly on my mind as he shuffled slowly along. I thought maybe the food and fatigue and just the overwhelming experience might make him pause to barf or something.

And as I watched carefully, walking slowly beside him, he said quietly, "That was great!"

Shoot, that kid was just fine.


And in fact, he looked to the left and saw the multi-colored lights on the downtownn Dallas buildings and said, "We're in a different world."



So it went quite well I'd say. Oh, there were hiccups here and there, and little moments I could have made part of this (like a TRE employee threatening a man on the train, or the cannabis-reeking old farts on the train who prompted THEBOY to mutter, "I'm not staying HERE--it stinks too much!")

I'm proud, more than anything, to have shared something that's meant so much to me with my son. He attended his first concert at age five. I was about fourteen or fifteen. The spectacle, the music, the newness of it all... I must say it was a real joy to watch him watching the show, you know?


The Who are selling DVDs of every show, and yes, I intend to buy the Dallas DVD.

A couple reviews of the show from the local rags:

Dallas Morning News

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram


Ya'll have a good weekend.

Friday, November 17, 2006

When Life Becomes a Doors Song

This morning THEBOY reached up, poked his mother in the breasts and said, "I like these."
And so it begins.
Well, the stupid power outage from night before last jacked up my alarm clock, and naturally I screwed up with I fixed the time. This means I overslept this morning. But I'm here, filling up on Yukon from Starbucks, trying to get my bearings.
BB's current therapy: Wolfmother
I hit the sheets at 9:30pm, so I feel somewhat rested.
I'm supposed to hear "where we stand" from my potential new employer today.
Looks like I'll be taking THEBOY down to the Angleton/LJ area for Thanksgiving. That's pretty cool. I'd considered taking THEGIRL so she can play with her cousin, but man, I don't think I'm up to that.
Watched our wedding video last night, just because it suddenly occurred to me that I should transfer the 13-year-old VHS contents to a DVD. It was sweet to see much-younger versions of family members. Aunt Frida was there, looking pretty good. Many of us had a lot more hair back then, including yours truly. I seemed to be having a bad hair year though.
I'm not sure I've had a good hair year yet.
Couple folks from the video have since passed away, in fact. It was nice to see them again, just up and about, doing their thing at a sweet little wedding ceremony.
MOBB looked pretty damn good.
I looked like a dink.
But this has caused MOBB to renew the occasional cry: Shave the beard!
Hoo boy. I look much better with it than without. Whit's had the nerve to shave his recently, but I dunno.
THEBOY drew a picture of a pumpkin patch that took second place at his school, and now goes on to district. Honestly, we'd forgotten all about it.
THEBOY: "The kids in my class aren't into kissing. Well, no one except [littlegirl] and me."
Me: "Why do you like it?"
THEBOY: "It's just a touch, but with the lips."
I'm gonna padlock that kid's door.
Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


It�s a busy time of year, just crazy-busy for MOBB and me. I�m pretty stressed out. Soon we�ll be into Christmas break, the only real time off I get from school each year. By the end of those five weeks I�ll probably be pacing the floor in anticipation of getting back at it, just like in years past.


Next semester will be my last one that�s totally lecture-based. I�ll have child/adolescent counseling and marriage/family therapy. I hear good things about the folks teaching those classes.


After that I�ll have some lectures, of course, though I�ll be getting into practica, which is more face-to-face counseling work. I�m looking forward to it.




I�ve begun physical therapy for my long-ailing calf. It almost didn�t happen, as an administrative person at the clinic chose to give me a very hard time about the fact that my insurance changed this year (long before I ever came to the clinic, mind you). It�s not worth getting into, but we had a rather tense exchange. I seriously considered leaving.


Her coworker apologized to me for that several times during the course of my 2.5 hour stay.




They did a lot of work on the leg, and after some consultation between therapists, they�ve about decided that I�ve got an impinged nerve between two muscles in the calf.


They also confirmed that when I walk, one foot points to about 12 o�clock while the other points to about 2 o�clock.




I�m going to get a lot of PT for this injury in a brief span, though squeezing that into my already psychotic schedule will be a bit tough.




Sometime last night MOBB informed me that the power had gone off. The wind had been crazy all day. I grabbed my cell phone to set the alarm on that. Outside we heard voices. In a neighbor�s back yard were men with chainsaws, cutting tree limbs out of the power line. A bright utility light backlit them as they worked. It was a strange, sort of otherworldly sight to watch their silhouettes working in an otherwise dark neighborhood. I guess some trees damaged a power line and they came out to clear the limbs.


Same thing happened to us some years ago. During an overnight blackout a crew arrived in our back yard to cut limbs out of the power line. No one said a word to us as they worked. No knock at the door, nothing.


Funny, it sure seemed like last night�s crew was there and working almost instantly. But I was half-asleep, sort of in a daze anyway. My sense of time was likely a bit screwball.




Better boogie. Hey, I don�t know how often I�ll get to update during this crunch time. Maybe I�ll find time, as I usually manage to. But if you�re hurtin� for entertainment (as you must be if you stop by THIS site on a regular basis) then find one of those links to the right and see what some of my buddies are up to.


Take care.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Do You Eat Glue?

After years of interest, study, and ponderin' in general... I've finally found the true cause and treatment for addiction.

Not exactly what I've thought of over the years when the words "drugs" and "possession" are used together.

(Admittedly, I couldn't bring myself to READ this... "research," okay. But it's worth a look for the abstract and illustrations alone).


So like Bruiser, I've been watching the African webcam quite a bit. Far as I can tell there are long stretches of inactivity, punctuated by short bursts where it looks like a scene from The Lion King. I've seen monkeys/baboons, all sorts of gazelle-type creatures, ducks, wildebeasts, a small rhino and, as of a few minutes ago, a grackle. Damn, those things are EVERYWHERE.


Hey, zip on over to the BB myspace to see a nice comment left by Pugwash, a terrific pop "band" (ie, Irishman Thomas Walsh and some collaborators).

I mean, I gather it's a nice comment and all, but I don't exactly know what it... means.


No word on new job as of this writing, though there's been some... activity.

Some of you know what I'm talking about. Keeping my fingers crossed.


Happy belated birthday Amanda. I've got this bitchin' card for you... I'm so bad about mailing stuff on time. Her kids are gonna grow up scarred for life because I never get their birthday gifts to them on time.


So there's this phenomenon, for lack of a better word, that occurs when one studies psych: You look for yourself.

I suppose it's common for psych students to read about all the different disorders and decide, at some point, that they've got something. "My gosh, I ate Elmer's glue for all of second grade, so I've got 'pica'!"

I find familiar elements in lots of disorders, but I can't say I'm inclined to self-diagnose. I function normally, I'm healthy, I generally feel okay, mood's not bad most of the time. But in reading about, say, obsessive-compulsive disorder, I see some familiar behaviors. I think many of us would.

I'm starting to view my studies in abnormal psych as a process of familiarizing myself with the more remote regions of my mind. I'd say there's a ton of behavior we're all familiar with that, when done repetitively, would be pathological. But in most cases, it's a passing thing, an idiosyncrasy maybe. I find this quite valuable, and I think it'll help me be a better parent as well. I had moments as a child where I was fairly gripped with some behavior or thought that I believed surely meant I was crazy. Now I see that it really wasn't so bad as all that. I'm even coming up with a few strategies for handling those if, at some point, my kids experience these things. Or MOBB or me, for that matter.


If you read all that and followed it, you've earned your wings for today.


Lutter made such short work of Patrick Cote the other night... I'm sure the other competitors in his weight class from TUF4 are shaking their heads that the quiet, unassuming (and coach-less) BJJ black belt won the whole thing.

How he'll do against Anderson Silva, though... that's anyone's guess.


Speaking of meaningless pain... man, my first KM workout in a week has left me SORE.


Ya'll take care.