Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Keeping BB Humble

It's been a pretty good day here I suppose. Got the kids up and out the door to school. Kelli and I headed out to run some errands. I turned in a job application, then we poked around some of the shops around the Central Market on Hulen.

This afternoon we took it easy while watching the Rangers get drubbed by the Mariners.


This evening Kelli went to Krav Maga, which seems to have gone well. She just demonstrated three great moves on me, one of which I thought was about to break my nose at one point. "Ow ow ow ow okay I get it..."

I went to kickboxing after that. We worked on "shelf" kicks and turning kicks. I started out on a high note with the shelf kicks, moving my feet well, kicking through the target.

But then we started working on these combinations that wrapped up with a pair of turning kicks, and it never clicked. I mean, I could engage the brain and get through it, but it never flowed, never felt natural. Easily my worst class since I started there. But I need those once in a while to keep me humble.


I won't dwell on this, but I wanted to get it out in the open:

A previous employer of mine reads this. They read it while I worked there, and they continue to read it. A lot.

A lot more than anyone else, in fact. Almost double the hits. I have a good stats service, and it's easy to see where the hits come from.

This is a public forum, and I suppose I can't do a thing about it. But really, I haven't written much about the end of my time there. I'm not trying to aggravate anyone there. What's done is done, and I am excited to move into a new phase of my career. I have a handful of very good opportunities pending, and I expect to have news soon.

I do wish this previous employer wouldn't take such an obsessive interest in this blog. Please leave me alone.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Battling the Tree

There's this tree growing along the back fenceline that Kelli hates. The neighbor behind us apparently hates it to, because she has occasionally echoed my wife's sentiments: When will you cut it down, BB?

I have no particular grudge against it, except that it's perfectly positioned to grow up into a power line. Calling the city and various utility folks does absolutely no good as far as getting it trimmed through those channels.


I'd made a couple attempts at trimming it back a bit, but I really didn't do anything substantial until a couple years ago. Kelli got me good and angry about something, and I went outside and took it out on the tree.

Briscoes 1, Tree 0


Thing is, it's apparently one of those newfangled Terminator trees or something, and it started to grow back. Cripes.

Briscoes 1, Tree 1


I turned THEBOY loose on it many moons ago, and I must say that the destructive fury he unleashed upon its newly sprouted limbs was very effective. That tree looked like it had been through a hurricane when he finished with it.

Briscoes 2, Tree 1


With the coming of the warm weather this year it began to grow back. So yesterday I turned THEBOY and his friend loose on it again. I was worried about one of them maybe catching a stray limb in the eye or something, so I made them wear sunglasses as at least SOME sort of defense against that.

I also had to find them weapons they could used against it that might have some effect on the tree without being lethal when the inevitable whack to the buddy occurred. THEBOY got a plastic mop handle, and his guest got a fairly flimsy wooden rod.

I guess it was about 30 seconds after I dispatched them to do their worst that they came back inside, THEBOY crying due to the rod having been accidentally snapped across his back. Ah crap.

Briscoes 2, Tree 2


We're due for a "sudden victory" round.

I happen to own a new chainsaw.

Place your bets now, folks.


Good holiday weekend here. Toland was in town for a visit, and we indulged ourselves with music overload. We bought CDs, played tracks for each other, played guitars ("...he had to go JAM with Leon Russell..."), hit a couple guitar shops. We also indulged in some serious food consumption. Shrimp, crabs, not to mention boiled corn and potatoes... greatness.

I'd say the weekend had a nice balance of doin' stuff mixed in with sitting around. We got out to see the X-Men movie too. It wasn't the best in the series, but it wasn't a bad way to kill a couple hours.

Kids were good, well-behaved... Toland behaved too.


I'd take a lot more weekends just like it.


The guy who played Colossus in X-Men 3 (or whatever the name is) happens to be about the size and shape of Sensei L'Onis from the Tiger Klay's Krav Maga. Maybe they can work out a deal on a biopic.


Leaving soon for class. Ya'll be good.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Drink Your Beer

Looks to be a good day here. I took THEBOY to Starbucks for our usual Friday morning caffeine and sugar breakfast overload. Well, he just had juice with his food. I had an iced coffee big enough to float a barge in.


Current music: "Place to Fall Apart" by Merle Haggard.


KM last night was good. I'd attended the lunchtime class and, I guess, was a glutton for punishment since I wanted to attend at night too.

I definitely got the punishment I was looking for.

We worked on a cool block/strike combo I'd not seen before. Thing is, I trained with a guy who's an easy 6'6" if not taller, and in terrific shape. Even with the pads on, some of his blows were painful to absorb. My forearms are sore from the defensive drills.

We wrapped up with the dreaded "30 seconds of knees" drill. The guy was faster than I expected, and strong of course. There came a point at which I expected I'd actually clear some goal posts.


New folks show up at the school here and there, and I try to be friendly to them, make them feel at home in a strange environment. Some sign up, some don't.

Last night was a family of four. The father was wearing a t-shirt that read, "Drink your beer--think of all the sober kids in China."

It didn't make me feel particularly gregarious.


I'm seriously considering attending tonight's "killer kickboxing" class, like I did last week. It wore me out! But this is such terrific fun, and I enjoy the benefits I get from this. The school is closed over the holiday weekend, so I may as well squeeze in as much as I can.


Toland's heading up tomorrow. Looking forward to that. I think THEBOY is already preparing a list of comic book-related questions to throw at him.


Meeting Henley for lunch in a bit. Ya'll have a good Friday.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

National Day of Slayer!

I promise I'll stop posting soon... but I couldn't resist. Click the above link.

bring running shoes and water

Current music: “High for the Ride” by Sea of Green.


KM class was good today. Got to attend with Kelli, who is a bit under the weather. She pulled through like a champ. We worked on punch/kick combinations. I thought I did pretty well. She did too, all things considered.

I missed the official belt test Saturday since I was out of town. In that circumstance Sensei evaluates you over the course of a couple regular classes, considers how you’ve done overall and then decides whether you’ve earned the belt.

So I got my yellow belt today. I’m certainly pleased.

And he assures me I’ll get my chance to go through the two+ hour belt test he administers, which is reputed to be extremely difficult. He tells us to “bring running shoes and water.”

I’m looking forward to getting a crack at it one day soon.


Funny, at first he handed me an orange belt. People were puzzled… “Wow, he goes straight from white to orange?”

Yes yes, that cat Briscoe is one bad mother…


(Hush yo mouth!)

(I’m jus’ talkin’ ‘bout Briscoe!)


So Kelli had the urge for Japanese after class. Who am I to refuse? We had a fine lunch at a local Japanese Grill place.


I’m actually going to KM again tonight. I’m washing the uniform right now.


I have a new mission in life:

I’m going to track down whatever sequencer-programmin’, lite-keyboard playin’, trip-hop producing sonofabitch added his own music to Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child” and break his fingers.

Heard it at the Japanese joint.

Uneasy listening, that’s what that was.


Ya’ll have a good afternoon.


THEBOY had his graduation from preschool last night! It was quite an enjoyable affair. They sang songs, did little dances... he positively beamed with pride, really basked in the glow of the spotlight.

A year ago he went through the motions at his previous school. He was as old as some of the "graduating" kids, but wasn't going to be moving on to kindergarten. He's got one of those awkwardly placed birthdays that left us having to decide whether to move him into kindergarten early, or keep him in preschool another year.

We took the uncommon route and held him back. Academically he was ready, but socially he wasn't. He's still a sensitive, mindful child, but a year ago he was much less tolerant, period. Other kids could get under his skin in a hurry. We really thought he'd thrive given the chance to be an older child in the group instead of a younger one.

At times this has seemed like the longest year EVER, especially since he's keenly aware of the fact that some of his friends moved on to kindergarten before him.

Really though, he has done exactly as we expected. His current school has mixed him in with "schoolers" (the kids brought in after their day in public school), so he's had a chance to develop social skills among them. I watched him play with a kid last night who had to be 10 (among others). They ran, laughed, yellow, rough-housed... my child is no wallflower. I'd say our decision paid off.

(Forgive the blurry photo, by the way. My policy, in case you didn't know, is to try to avoid identifying my kids by really specific details like names, schools, etc. Too many freaks, weirdos, perverts and assorted ne'er-do-wells out on the web.)


Current music: "A Rose in a Garden of Weeds" by Pugwash


Funny, not 30 seconds after I published the post yesterday including the line about how I need a job, a potential employer callled me. Things are movin', shakin'... wow!

So I'll try it again:

I need some nachos.

(Anxiously awaiting the nachos here...)


Got some yard work done this morning. Got KM in a little while, where I expect I'll wrap up a belt test. Cool.

Ya'll have a good day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

the little tornadoes

Current music: "Lagrimas Negras" ("black tears") by Conjunto Cespedes. This is a gorgeous Cuban traditional song, I believe, about heartbreak. This version unfolds over the course of about seven minutes, taking its time to grow from an acoustic meditation to a full-blown horn-driven wail.


THEBOY has his graduation ceremony from preschool tonight. Since he's got a birthday that makes placing him in the correct class difficult, this is actually the second one he'll go through; he did it a year ago at his former school too.

Last time when the curtain opened he saw the size of the crowd and was overwhelmed. He stood there with his hands over his mouth the whole time. I'm curious to see how he'll react tonight.


Had our first advanced counseling techniques class last night. This is my first one from Dr. Ellison, the head of the program. It looks difficult but fun. So far in the program we've covered theories and tests and such, but have been on the outside looking in, so to speak. This is the first time we'll be put in simulated counseling settings--with real issues--to take a crack at this. I feel like a martial artist preparing to spar for the first time.


Speaking of which, I'm up for a new belt this week.

Yesterday Kelli and I had the rare opportunity to attend KM together, and that was fun. I had a good class, and I think she did too. We worked on a lot of kicks. I Iove those days when the movements come naturally, without requiring me to be overly conscious of what I'm doing. I whapped the bag with a roundhouse at one point and Sensei said, "Now THAT'S a kick!"

Thank you, thank you...


Our first night back from Angleton the kids were wound up, loud. I was doing something I rarely do: Vegging out in front of the TV. I couldn't hear a thing since the little tornadoes were all over the place. Finally we got fed up and told them to go play in their rooms. THEGIRL marched dutifully off, not really bothered by the idea. THEBOY didn't take it so well.

Thing is, it was about dusk, and after a few minutes we realized we'd sent THEGIRL to a pitch-black bedroom to play.

And there she was on the floor, content to play in the dark. Poor sweet girl!


Been listening to the Sword lately. Nothing like a good Sabbath-style aural bludgeoning. Thanks Bruiser!


I need a job.


Happy Wednesday.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Foggy-headed Weekend Recap

We had a good trip to Angleton.

THEBOY and I left Saturday morning. It was his first trip on an airplane, and it went okay. The pressure bothered him, and he wasn't that receptive to my input about dealing with it. When he did try to pop his ears he couldn't.

But it was a short flight at least.


I was 17 the first time I flew.


It was good to see Dad and Charlene, to catch up with them and have a relaxed visit. Dad looked and sounded good.

Then it was off to Lake Jackson to catch up with Amanda and her family. The boys got along quite well all weekend, which I was glad for.

We had a fine meal at El Toro (damn good chicken fajita salad), then did some catching up.

Amanda et al were busy dealing with the Curse of the Brown water in their new pool. Seems some sort of utility hiccup occurred the day they were filling the pool, and they ended up with shades of yellow and brown. Poor Eddie was trying all sorts of chemicals and gizmos to fix it.

I do believe he hired Miss Cleo to give it a psychic reading at one point.

She charged it $1.99 a minute.


Saturday morning we were off with Dad, Amanda and the boys to do a little fishing. We ended up along a nice stretch of the San Bernard River. And though we didn't haul in bunch of flounder or anything, we had a fine second option: The boys caught a bunch of croakers, which aren't edible, so there was plenty of action at least. I swear we caught and released some of the same ones several times--no one said croakers were smart. It got a little hot on some of us after a while, but really I'd say the whole morning went off very nicely.


So Amanda and I took the boys to Cici's for lunch after that. We were standing in line when I looked down and saw THEBOY delivering textbook-perfect Krav Maga knees to his cousin's stomach (softly). Ack! He'd never done that before, and his cousin's not the least bit fond of rough-housing (though he's an accomplished little Tae Kwon Do artist himself these days).

I'm stunned that THEBOY picked up that technique just from watching it in class. I ended up having to give him a strange message: "Don't do that to anyone but bad guys! But you did it well..."


We cleaned up and spent a lot of the day vegging out after that. THEBOY indulged himself with movies, and I managed to take a nap.


I met up with the one and only Bruiser Boone for the first time in way too long yesterday evening. Good to see him! Just like always, it was like we hang out every week, like we used to.

This man's been such a pivotal figure and a good friend in my life... I could recount so many meaningful or hysterical anecdotes (or combinations thereof). He introduced me to my wife, ended up determining the name of one of my kids (yes, we went with "Shecky" per his suggestion... ha!), and was never afraid back in the day to tell me he'd kick my butt if I screwed up.


And there we were, 15+ years after I left the area, just shooting the bull like we used to. We have our own spouses and kids now. I'm in DFW, he's living up the road from his folks...

It was at his folks' house in summer of '90 where I tossed back a bunch of beers and yammered like an auctioneer on crank to Kelli Thomerson. It was some sort of fairly low-key party if I recall. My relationship with my girlfriend at the time was disintegrating, and this girl Kelli had captivated me from the get-go.

Kelli and I left at the same time, and spent quite a while in the street in front of his house talking. I was happy to have her attention, to seem interesting to this pretty girl. Finally she said she had to go.

We ended up dating briefly and not working out, that time at least. I mean, obviously we finally straightened things out...


So there I was last night, leaving Bruiser's house around midnight, and there in the street I could almost see the two young lovebirds-to-be chatting giddily in the moonlight.

I drove back to Dad's house, and you know, I went all the way across town without seeing another car on the road.


And there sits Kelli now, doing her sudoku. We'll have been married 13 years this month. We have two good, smart, healthy kids, and I cherish her more each year. Thanks, Bruiser.


Today we got up and hit the road for the airport. Aside from the plane being a little late and more pressure discomfort, everything worked out well. It was so good to see Kelli and THEGIRL again! Very exciting little airport reunion!


We're all pretty wiped out though. I slept for an hour. Ever take a nap that's almost impossible to get up from? Man, an hour later I was still foggy-headed.

I briefly considered going to Krav Maga, but Sensei's going to belt-test me next time he lays eyes on me, and I was tired and not firing on all cylinders. I'll go tomorrow.


I just hope he doesn't bump into me in a Wal Mart or something: "You! Outside knife defense WITH the arm sweep--go!"

(Just kidding...)


Looks like I'll be going back down there quite soon too. Looking forward to it.


Ya'll be good.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Man, I went to kickboxing this evening.

Heh heh... actually, it's the class listed on the schedule as "Weekend Killer cardio combatives (Basic Krav Maga & Kickboxing drills)."

They're not kidding about the "killer" part. That was the hardest thing I've done since the half-marathon.

Fun though!

After we'd done hundreds of crunches, worked on combinations on the bag, after I'd seen a puddle of my own sweat on the mat, THAT'S when Sensei told us, "Breathe for one minute; this next drill is the hard one."

He wasn't kidding.

It was crazy: Punch the bag as fast as you can for a minute, then punch it slowly for a minute, focusing on good mechanics the whole time.


Four minutes of having the arms in motion, pounding the bag...

Rough. I'm going to be sore in places I'd have previously needed GPS to find on this old body, man.


Gotta say, though, that I'm pleased that for the first time in my life I can consider myself to be an athlete.


Really looking forward to this trip!


Ya'll have a terrific weekend.

strange like-mindedness

THEBOY is getting pretty excited about our trip tomorrow. He's already requested a window seat.

So last night he suddenly told me I need to fix his fishing rod (the line is badly tangled right now). I told him I could fix it, but we can't take it on the plane. I told him not to worry, as his Papa would have something he could use.


Flash forward 30 minutes when I called Dad (aka Papa). Almost the first thing out of his mouth was that he figured we couldn't bring a fishing rod on the airplane.

I looked at THEBOY for a sec, stunned at yet another instance of this strange like-mindedness he has with his grandfather.

"But don't worry, Papa will have something he can use," said Dad.




I've got my first belt test in KM next week. I'm feeling okay about it, though there have probably been a couple things I haven't yet seen. As often as I go, I know there are still drills I miss once in a while.

But save for a couple things I've zipped along okay. I'm pleased that my bag work is pretty natural at this point. Gotta start making a real effort to divide my practice into lefty/righty, get that ol' corpus callosum in shape. If Sensei doesn't specifically instruct us to switch up I sometimes forget to.


TUF last night... well, I won't play spoiler since Whit may not have seen it. Let me just say that I was QUITE pleased with who got sent home. I'd had enough of THAT guy's ugly, self-absorbed mug staring at the camera.


Current music: "I'm Back in Baby's Arms" by Patsy Cline


Happy Friday.

Not sure when I'll post again. Maybe today, maybe not. We return from our trip Monday afternoon.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Keep Your Extremities Close

Yeah, THEGIRL is apparently a cannibal.

That is, she bit a kid at daycare yesterday, then bit her brother last night. Ah crap.

I asked if her classmate was okay, and whether the kid's parents want to kill me now.

The answers were yes and no, respectively.


So her little fanny got to go to bed early last night.


The Rangers are killing me at the moment. Really... they've gone into the Yankees' house and won a game, then lost two they could have won. They're playing now, but I haven't had a chance to turn on the TV.


Had a good four-mile run last night in the cool night air.


KM went well today. Combinations are flowing well, becoming more natural all the time.

And I got another stripe today! Shoot, I test for the next belt (yellow) next week. I've heard some horror stories about his tests, but I'm not scared.


This weekend THEBOY and I will be away, visiting family and friends in the Houston area. He'll be taking his first ride on an airplane. I'm hoping he can deal with the cabin pressure. I'll take gum.


Current music: "Dance All Night" by Boozoo Chavis


Happy Thursday. TUF tonight, ya'll.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

throbbed Dweller knocked whip succumbed arsenic traipsed sniff

It's a quiet Tuesday night here.

My head throbbed for two days, and that's odd for me. Couple doses of ibuprofen and a little Claritin did nothing.

And iced coffee helped.

Yeah... two days with no coffee, and a two-day headache that faded when I finally gave in.

Caffeine withdrawal. Lovely.


Current music: "Dweller on the Threshold" by Van Morrison.


Had a good day here once I got up and moving. That headache knocked me for a loop. Late this morning, after getting the kids up and off to school, I tried to crash for a while. Mostly this just amounted to me lying there while my head pounded.


I got up and went to KM though, and had a good time. I'm not an overly competitive sort, but I do admit to taking some pride in days like today, when folks are standing with their hands on their knees to catch their breath and I've got plenty left in the tank.

It was all kicks today, combinations of front kicks and a "whip" kick. This is sort of like a roundhouse kick that doesn't really start with the foot from the ground but from an already-elevated position. Not easy to do, but fun!


This afternoon I succumbed to more shopping therapy. I gotta knock that off. I got good deals though.


Kelli was in her Italian class again this evening. I was quite proud of the kids for eating the supper I made! I don't mean to make a joke here; it was ham, spinach salad and corn on the cob. You'd be surprised how many foods those two (especially THEBOY) will treat like arsenic. They both pigged out, ate a genuinely good, balanced meal!


THEBOY went on to impress me even further after his sister had a diaper disaster.

(Why she chose to disappear into MY closet to do this I can't explain)

She was such a mess that I had to put her in a bath. Thing is, I wasn't sure where she'd traipsed, and really needed to have a quick look around. I brought him in to watch her while I scoped out the scene.

He beamed with pride as I bragged about him to his mother.


To the folks who continue to sniff around this site looking for things to dislike:

I have tools that allow me to monitor the traffic (ha ha) on the site. Don't you have some erectile dysfunction spots to place or something?


Have a good Wednesday.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Grades Addendum

I completely forgot to mention that Kelli also pulled out all As, and let me tell you, it was a bear of a semester for her. By her count she wrote about 150 pages in papers since January.

Congratulations, Krav Mama!

Couple Quick Notes

Kelli's mother came through her procedure just fine and was in recovery when I got the last update. Nothing unexpected from what I gather. Good.


Grades are in: Got a pair of As!

4.0 as a grad student, thankyouverymuch.


Happy Monday.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Sunday Evening Wrapup

Kelli is away tonight, down in Corsicana because her mother is having knee replacement surgery tomorrow morning (both of them).

So it's been just the kids and me since early this evening. It'll be just us tomorrow too. That is, when they're not in the daycare.


Good weekend.

Friday night we had a nice dinner gathering at the home of one of Kelli's professors. The hosts were gracious, the company was good, kids behaved...


KM was good yesterday. My stamina was top-notch. I could see drops of my sweat hitting the mat by the end of class, but I had some energy left. My combinations were really popping, really coming naturally as we did bag work. Another baby step for me.


Yesterday evening I met up with the only and only Geoff Parlett for a good evening of catching up and taking in some baseball. We watched a Cats game over in Ft. Worth. I filled him in about Dodgers draftee Luke Hochevar, a Scott Boras client who couldn't come to terms with LA so is sitting out a year, pitching for the Cats.

What I missed altogether was the fact that Hochevar was actually the pitcher last night (damn unis with no names...)

The kid looked good! I noticed he had a good break on his slider mostly. From our angle we saw lots of guys swinging way over it.

So G-Par filled me in regarding life in DC, how public transportation gets them most places, and what life working for the Belo Capitol Bureau.

Don't be a stranger, Parlett.


Cats won 5-4 over the Shreveport Sports, by the way.


You know, Sensei told us something that hadn't occurred to me: Krav Maga doesn't teach jabs. The point, he said, is to teach us to try to make every punch a "go-home" punch.

Brutal stuff.

But fun!


This morning we got up and headed to Plano to meet the Hoods at Roy's, a Hawaiian restaurant. It was a Mother's Day brunch. We were glad to have a nice meal to celebrate the day. The Hoods were too, not to mention the fact that having an actual mother at the table helped them feel better about showing up at that particular time for their Hawaiian chow fix.

We enjoyed talking to them, and they got a dose of what a long meal with our kids is like. And actually, they (the kids, heh heh) weren't bad.

The food was terrific.


After that I took THEBOY to a comic book shop at his request. It was his first trip, and he was in paradise, going from place to place, pointing things out, asking questions.

He got about 50 comics.

You read right.

He got some new ones, some bargain-rack used ones, and this big bundle ("Five pounds of comics for $6.99!") that had some decent titles inside.


And tonight we took the rocket toy to a park. Aside from the fact that I stepped on one of the rockets and ruined it, we had a great time. We were in an open area, yet in the shadow of a huge oak tree. The setting sun didn't bake us, and the breeze was just great.


Hope ya'll had a good weekend.

Here it is Sunday night, and you know, this is the best Sunday night I've had in a long time.


1. Who was your first prom date?

2. Who was your first roommate?
Toland. THOSE were the days... tiny apartment crammed with so much stuff we could barely walk...

3. Who was your first kiss?

4. What was your first job?
I'd had a couple of odd jobs here and there, but really it was Jack in the Box. I was a fry cook.

5. What was the first movie you ever walked out of?
Considering that Steve Meier and I used to beg to get dropped off at movies just to sneak out 10 minutes later to run around, well, I have no idea. I napped through Curious George though.

6. When did you go to your first funeral?
I was about 10 I guess.

7. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?
I ran away when I was 22.

8. Who was your first grade teacher?
Mrs... Valenta?

9. Where did you go on your first airplane ride?

10. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
I was alone. The most rotten things I ever did were alone.

11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends?
Steve. Nope.

12. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house?
Some apartment in north Austin

13. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

14. Who’s wedding were you in the first time you were a best man/maid of honor?
McAuley's I guess

15. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Do whatever I can to quiet the screaming voice in my head that's urging me to use the toilet and brush my teeth.

16. What was the first concert you attended?
The Firm

17. First tattoo or piercing?
Left ear, mid-80s.

18. First celebrity crush?
This is such a recurring theme on these things... I probably watched less TV in the 80s than I do today. I mean... a crush? A real crush? People get crushes on celebrities? Isn't that sort of pointless?

19. First crush?

Friday, May 12, 2006


Ganked from Nadine (sorry Mike... "ganked" being a forbidden word and all...)


1.) Where were you when the ball dropped for 2006? Holy crap, I have no idea.

2.) What color underwear are you wearing? Grey

3.) Do you own an iPod? Yes, an iShuffle. Iove it.

4.) What did you do this morning? Hauled THEBOY over to Starbucks for a breakfast treat.

5.) What does your dad do for a living? He’s retired.

6.) Where do you work? [The sound of a muffled voice behind duct tape...]

7.) What ended your last relationship? What? Holy crap, I'm not talking about the girlfriend who dumped me in 1990.

8) What are the last two digits of your phone number? 37

9.) What was the last movie you watched? Walk the Line

10.) What do you dislike at the moment? Commercial television. Oh wait, that's nothing new.

11.) Did you dream last night? I cannot recall.

12.) What was the last TV show you watched? The Ultimate Fighter 3.

13.) What is your favorite piece of jewelry? The wedding ring I gave my wife.

14.) What was the last thing you ate? Chocolate cake.

15.) Who is your best friend of the opposite sex? My wife.

16.) Are you on any medication? I end up taking a little ibuprofen most days due to this barking shoulder.

17.) What color is your razor? Green I think

18.) What is your favorite frozen treat? Utzi, that guy they found frozen in the mountains.

19.) How many tattoos/piercing do you have? Not a thing

20.) Are you a virgin? I have two kids. Do the math.

21.) What’s your favorite store? Uh... no real favorite.

22.) Are you thirsty right now? No.

23) Can you imagine yourself getting married? On a related note, I'm stunned about how much of my honeymoon I don't recall. That was a rather amusing conversation we had tonight...

24.) Who’s someone you haven’t seen in a while and miss? Dad, Sis.

25.) What did you do last night? Bellyached.

26.) Do you care what people think about you? Of course, but only to a point. I have regular clothes, haircut, etc. I mean to be polite, hope to get the same... But really, there comes a point at which I truly do not give a shit. Sometimes trying to get someone to see the light isn't worth even a moment of effort. This week was good evidence of that.

27.) Have you ever done something to instigate trouble? Try it, it's fun!

28.) Do you like your nose? Not so much.

29.) What color is your bedroom? Jeez... white?

30.) When was the last time you worked out? Thursday afternoon. Lunchtime Krav Maga. It was good fun, very therapeutic.

31.) Are you an aggressive driver? No. And I specialize in going straight.

32.) Who is your cell phone provider? Beats me.

33.) Do you like the person who posted this last? Sure.

34.) What is the thing you’d want to change most about yourself? I'd like to have pecs someday.

35.) (Is currently AWOL)

36.) What do you think of Angelina Jolie being pregnant? She's an actress, right? I think this is a good indication that she had sex with some guy.

37.) Who is your favorite Star Wars character? Mariska Hargitay

38.) What books, if any, have made you cry? Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday, The World According to Garp, 10 Little Indians.

39.) What are you allergic to? Erythromycin

40.) Are you a jealous person? Hardly at all.

41.) If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name have been? I'm told I'd have been a Jennifer.

The Truth

... has set me free.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tick Tick Tick and Pow

Tick tick tick.




Good morning, good morning. Doing okay here, just trucking along.


It was a good evening in the Briscoe Casa de Amor. Took the kids outside to play with the frisbee for a while. THEGIRL eventually took offense to anyone else doing anything with the frisbee… yeah, it was close to bedtime.




Had a good run out at the LD Bell track. Leg’s talking to me a little, but you know… after four miles I stopped and did some stretching before heading home.


It was almost 11pm. I was dripping sweat, my heart was pounding, and I felt lean and strong. I felt like I had a few more rounds in me. This is probably the best shape I’ve ever been in.




One night in KM last week, Sensei strolled out of view while the students knocked out some crunches or ground defense drills (I forget which).


I suddenly heard this POW, and thought he’d gone somewhere and slammed a door.


I heard THEBOY say something, and Sensei got back up on the mat, laughing. He walked by me and said, “Your son told me, ‘Good kick’.”


Jeez, a kick made that sound?




It was like that time in the 90s when Kelli and I were at the Ballpark in Arlington, taking in a game from the cheap seats. We kept hearing this POW over and over. She asked what it was, and I pointed out that it was John Wetteland warming up in the bullpen.




TUF tonight!




Happy Thursday.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A short burst of foul cacophony

As THEBOY stood at his closet last night, picking a bedtime story, I inflated his whoopee cushion and put it under his pillow.


He brought over a Nemo book and hopped up on the bed. He leaned back on his pillow and we heard a brief “brap.”


“Ew!” he said, looking at me with a wrinkled brow.


“It wasn’t me!” I said.


“It wasn’t ME!” he said.


And we went back and forth like that a few times.


“Maybe it was Mama,” he said.






So after we read the story I said we should play a trick on Mama too.


Each night I tuck him in first. Then he hides under the covers and waits for his mother to come tuck him in. Usually I’m supposed to give her some story about his “absence,” like he’s on the moon or in Africa or something. Usually robots are involved.


He blew up the whoopee cushion and put it under the other pillow. I summoned Kelli, and told him he’d “done everything” (a new one).


She came in, leaned on the pillow and BRAP! A short burst of foul cacophony. Good one!


We had a good laugh, and as he explained how I’d tricked him too, I blew it up again and placed it behind her tush.


It was full! Why she didn’t feel it I don’t know, but after she tucked him in she rolled over and it REALLY let loose. She screamed and THEBOY and I laughed like we were BOTH five.


There are some moments you just can’t express with a Hallmark card, man.



Monday, May 08, 2006

I Got the Call

I interview with Tarrant County MHMR Addiction Services tomorrow.



The Day the Cacti Bit the Dust

I’d been cleaning house yesterday, and soon everyone was pitching in.


Kitchen first, then the living room came along nicely. Kelli and THEGIRL cleaned her room, then THEBOY and I worked in his room.


THEGIRL was in there, piddling around, pretending to sleep on his bed.


And that’s when she said, “Uh oh, Daddy.”


The little terrarium on the windowsill with THEBOY’s cacti was strewn all over the bed. Of all the things for her to notice and lay a hand on in that room, I have no idea how she gravitated to that.


It was pretty heartbreaking. He’d taken good care of them, watched their progress… they were big enough that it was time to transplant them to a bigger pot anyway. I grabbed a couple and gave it a shot. No idea whether they’ll live. I hope so.




Sis writes about the Foreigner concert.




Got some yard work done too, and bought groceries during the afternoon.




The terrarium was meant to be a lesson in appreciating things that aren’t products of instant gratification. Our kids have toys and foods and experiences that even 30 years ago when I was a child weren’t nearly as common. It’s difficult to impart the notion that some of the most rewarding things are worth waiting for.


I don’t know if I’m doing a good job.




I must have been seven years old when my folks told me we could order a Spider-Man shirt from an ad in the comic book. I forget the cost, but it would take 6-8 weeks to arrive (can you believe it?).


So we mailed off the stuff, and I waited and waited.


And finally it came, wrapped in plastic. Geoff is right: Nothing smells better than a new t-shirt.


It was worth waiting for.




Whit got one too. We were so proud of them that we just went out to the edge of his yard wearing them, standing there for passing cars to see, just hoping they’d admire our cool new shirts.




Wish us luck on the cacti.



Sunday, May 07, 2006

Andrei Arlovsky Does Not Need My Help

Just killing a little time while the iPod charges... Got a Merle Haggard mix that's going to be the soundtrack of today's cleaning frenzy. We're in genuine post-semester meltdown here. Kelli especially... she's cranked out so many pages of papers lately... she's fried, just fried. I'm decompressing from the work situation and my own semester's end as well, and now the house is showing it. The place is something of a wreck. I aim to fix that today.


Yesterday was pretty good. I saw the chiropractor, then gave blood.

Against Kelli's advice, I also went to KM.

Say BB, what happens when you participate in an intense martial arts workout after giving blood?

Well mysterious interrogator, you feel about 20% weaker than usual, and fatigue hits earlier. I was TELLING my arms and legs to beat the hell out of the bag, but oddly, they chose to just sort of tap it instead. Tap tap tap.

And the sweat... wow, that was a lot of sweat. I made it. I can admit that when I walked out I saw stars before my eyes, okay. Next time: Listen to the wife.

Really though, I felt FINE beforehand. Almost perfect. The extra exertion though... wow, that showed me something.


Got the oil changed in Kelli's car, had a nap... Then we all hit Razzoo's for a big Cajun supper, a sort of end-of-semester celebration. I just pigged out, had a grand time stuffing myself with spicy andouille sausage, shrimp creole, crawfish etouffee...

And to top that, we went to Milwaukee Joe's for ice cream. I had cinnamon... hoo baby was it good!


Fatigue was still hampering me though. I hit the sheets at 11pm and slept until 9:30 this morning. Wow.


Got big stuff going on this month. Geoff will be in town soon. THEBOY and I will take a trip to Angleton for a few days, and then Toland will head up the next weekend.


I'll wrap up with this crazy dream, which I told a couple of you about:

I was walking in a big group of people, headed for where I don't know. I think we were in a big field. To my right was UFC badass Andrei Arlovsky, walking unnoticed except by me.

Out of the blue a punk with a snubnose .38 came up to rob him.

I was thinking--he's in the perfect position for Krav Maga gun disarm! Ooh ooh ooh! But I wasn't the one with the gun pointed at my ribs. I couldn't interfere, only watch on the sly and hope not to catch a stray bullet.

They started wrestling over the gun. That is, with no style whatsoever Arlovsky simply wrenched the .38 out of the guy's hands, bludgeon him into unconsciousness, dropped the piece and kept walking like nothing had happened.

The moral: Andrei Arlovsky does not need my help.


Ya'll have a good Sunday.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Not a bad day here, all things considered.




Rainy and whatnot… I kinda like it. Ask me about it again later, though, if the damn sirens start going off like they do in the springs around here. Those tornado alerts really shake me up.




Had a good run last night. You know, if I can’t have a GREAT run, like last Thursday when five miles seemed easy, then I’d like to have the kind I had last night. It wasn’t a total beatdown, but it was difficult. I was always tacking a mile onto my distance, extending it. Heck, you made it three miles… one more won’t kill you…


Then four, and finally five.


At four I was winded, thought I might puke. But I was happy to hear that voice in my head telling me, Fine—you stop to puke, then pick back up and knock out that last mile, Alice!


(I didn’t puke)


That little voice isn’t always so determined.


(Hmm… come to think of it, that may have been Whit’s voice. Odd.)




Hey Nadine, what’s the rule on the iPod when one is only wearing shorts and shoes?




Took THEBOY and THEGIRL to a kindergarten registration wingding last night. He’s starting in the fall! They rounded up all the kids and sent them off to the classrooms for a stretch while the parents did their thing. He lined up with the others, walked off into new surroundings…


Kelli actually did the parent stuff, as rambunctious THEGIRL was too loud. I took her out of the meeting and followed her as she trotted for—literally—about a mile through the halls of the school.


It gave me a good chance to check the place out though, and I must say I’m impressed. My memories of elementary school are of an outdated building, with extensions built on here and there, gummy/drab paint, bad lighting, funky smells…


I swear a big stretch of this place smelled like fresh-cut flowers. Kelli smelled it too. Wasn’t a spray—somebody had a stash of flowers somewhere. Everything was clean, well-lit, well-maintained… This was a warm and inviting place. We’ve heard decent things about the school itself too. Nice!




One more final exam to do this week. Take-home exams aren’t necessarily a gift! Yes, the multi-cultural exam was manageable.


The stats exam, though, looks a bit intimidating.


Nadine, I may not be done throwing myself at your feet (even after the Sex Quiz IQ prank—bruja!)




Happy Tuesday.




Tick tick tick…